The West African sub-continent is preparing to launch a digital version of the CFA franc. Named e-CFA and issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), the currency will first be used in Senegal. If the experiment is successful, the use of the new digital currency will be extended to the other countries of the Uemoa zone.
After Tunisia launched last year the e-dinar, West Africa as a whole, is preparing to launch the e-CFA, the digital version of the CFA franc.Issued by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), it will be a ticket in digital format that will work just like normal banknote.
West Africa will thus be the pioneer in digital money in the world. “This is a digital ticket that can be exchanged as a physical ticket issued by a central bank.To carry out a transaction you can debit a bank account and credit another, or you can physically exchange a ticket We have created a technology that allows this exchange to be digital, “said Jonathan Dharmapalan, founder of E-currency Mint Ltd., the Irish start-up that Designed the e-CFA. According to him, the difference between the other crypto-currencies and the e-CFA is that it depends on an economic zone and is issued by a central bank. However, the very principle of crypto-currencies, such as the Bitcoin, is precisely to avoid any passage through the “traditional” financial system with the objective of reducing the cost of transactions.
Senegal will be the first country in West Africa to experiment with e-CFA, thus serving as a zero point. If the experiment is conclusive, the currency will be extended throughout West Africa. Serigne Diakhoumpa, chief financial officer of the sovereign strategic investment fund of Senegal, believes this is a very good thing. For him, the technology on which this “e-money” is based is a revolution that will help better control financial transactions to fight corruption.
“I always take the example of Rwanda, where even the small shopkeeper in the corner has an electronic terminal. No need today to have notes and coins in your pocket, you make the transaction with machines, Can not ask you to pay for things that are not due. Of course, computers can be hijacked, but all transactions are still traced, “he said. A point of view that nuances Hélix, the institute of study of digital finance.
Despite all the fraud is present
Just as physical tickets are marked with a watermark and a unique serial number, e-CFA is protected by cryptographic protocols. Is this device sufficient to secure the currency? The institute of study of digital finance, Hélix, in doubt. According to its study report on mobile money fraud, fraud still adapts to the financial system. “Their technology is quite safe, but as soon as additional levels and systems are added, it opens up vulnerabilities. Over the last six months we have seen two good examples of reliable digital currencies that have been attacked and Have lost a lot. “Last August, the bitcoin lost $ 75 million and nearly 20% of its value, and its competitor, Ether, lost $ 50 million because of a vulnerability in their code. “Explained Elizabeth Berthe, deputy director of the Hélix network.
Thus, it must be deduced that this innovation of digitizing the regional currency does not protect against fraud, but rather the fight against corruption. The e-CFA even knowing this, will render a great service to a continental space, West Africa, gangrené by a rate of corrupt corruption. A great revolution, all in all. Still need to convince end customers to use it …