Tanzanian President Sees Long Game in African CBDC Investment

  • Investment
  • 22.06.2021 04:55 pm

Recently, the Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan offered a speech at the Central Bank of Tanzania that the time had come for her country to embrace blockchain and cryptocurrencies. In particular, a Swahili Times article noted that the president had directed the central bank to “prepare for the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.”
“It isn’t just El Salvador that seeks to embrace blockchain and digital assets. Ghana is beginning to make moves, and, now, we see Tanzania preparing to take advantage of the new technologies, as well,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus, a US-based developer of ultra-high-performance trading and surveillance technology that powers global equities, derivatives, and digital asset exchanges.

The president was quoted as saying, through translation, that We have witnessed the emergence of a new journey through the internet. I know that in [...] Tanzania, […] we have not accepted or started using [this technology]. However, my message to the Central Bank is that you should start working on this development. The Central Bank should be ready for change and not be caught unprepared.”

In a different translation, her statement was quoted as: “We have witnessed the emergence of new journeys through the internet... My call to the central bank, is to start working on that development.”

“What’s notable about this, however, is the general tone and tenor of the president’s words. There are different reasons to embrace a CBDC. One of them is to centralize the financial system, making the infrastructure of banking less expensive to maintain and, thus, offering greater options to the masses who are currently unbanked. An entirely different reason is that CBDCs represent the future of finance, and those early adopters --- the countries that move with haste to embrace blockchain technologies --- those countries could open up their economy to an enhanced fintech sector. For a country like Tanzania or Ghana, the importance of that aspect can’t be understated,” opined Gardner.

Modulus is known throughout the financial technology segment as a leader in the development of ultra-high frequency trading systems and blockchain technologies. Over the past twenty years, the company has built technology for the world’s most notable exchanges, with a client list which includes NASA, NASDAQ, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Siemens, Shell, Yahoo!, Microsoft, Cornell University, and the University of Chicago.

“There are two different movements happening concurrently. First, there is a movement to regulate cryptocurrencies. That’s necessary for the industry to evolve. Second, there is a race to adopt central bank digital currencies. Obviously, China is leading that race among the major powers, but among small countries with regional influence, there is great value that will come from being the first to act. We are already working with government groups, banks, and multinational corporations to help prepare their infrastructure for technology requirements a CBDC-based world would require. The time to prepare for the future is today," Gardner said.


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