The Bank of Ghana (BoG) recently marked the completion of its central bank digital currency (CBDC) hackathon, a significant milestone in the development of its digital currency, the eCedi. The hackathon, a collaborative effort involving various stakeholders, was focused on creating innovative solutions for the eCedi using Hedera’s public Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and EMTECH’s Beyond Cash digital currency solution. KPMG, contributing on a pro bono basis, played a key role in setting the competition’s standards and overseeing the proceedings.
The event attracted a diverse range of participants, including developers, banks, and fintech companies, who competed in developing practical applications for the eCedi. Out of an initial 88 applications, the competition was narrowed down to 68, and finally to ten finalists. These teams showcased their ingenuity by launching applications aimed at various sectors such as agriculture, government payments, business payments, taxation, securities, crowdfunding, interoperability, and credit scoring.
The hackathon concluded with the team Forward Titans claiming the top prize of eCedi 500,000 (approximately $41,500). The teams Nokofio and Pay Code earned second and third places, receiving eCedi 300,000 ($25,000) and eCedi 200,000 ($16,600) respectively. Despite the competitive nature of the event, specific details regarding the winning projects’ use cases were not disclosed.
Dr. Ernest Addison, Governor of the Bank of Ghana, expressed his appreciation for the international collaboration that the hackathon fostered. He highlighted the eCedi project’s commitment to financial inclusion, enhancing the efficiency and safety of payments, and furthering the digitalisation of Ghana’s economy. Notably, Ghana has seen a significant improvement in its financial access ratio, which rose from 41% in 2014 to 68% in 2021.
Regarding the technology behind the CBDC, EMTECH provided participants with access to BYDC-eCedi APIs. All transactions adhered to the ERC-20 token standard and were conducted on the public DLT, ensuring transparency while maintaining user privacy.
EMTECH’s CEO Carmelle Cadet emphasised the success of the Bank of Ghana’s pilot using their technology stack, describing it as a model for CBDC development in the Web3 era. This initiative exemplifies the bank’s forward-thinking approach and its willingness to collaborate with the banking and fintech sectors.