Botswana cautions cryptocurrency investors
With increasing trade in crypto assets by residents and other domestic entities in regional and global trading platforms, the Bank of Botswana (BoB) has warned that there is no regulatory framework for the licensing, control, and protection of investors or consumers.
“Therefore, trading in bitcoin or similar decentralised technologies, also known as ‘cryptocurrency’, is akin to investment in any other intangible assets with attendant risks, inherent in such investments, such as complete loss of value or possible abuse of the technologies tothe detriment of investors,” cautioned Dr Seamogano Mosanako, Head of Communications and Information Services.
Dr Mosanako said it is advisable and considered prudent for those intending to participate in the activity to undertake due diligence on the registration and legality of the business, as well as the nature of the business activity, including the manner of generation and source of returns;
“There is general concern that, in several instances, the underlying activity may relate to pyramid schemes and scams , which could result in individuals unwittingly participating in criminal activity and, therefore, liable for prosecution or exposure to significant risk of financial and asset losses.”
She added that the public has “no option for redress” relating to fraud, misconduct, or financial losses emanating from or associated with participation in the crypto assets business through statutory instruments under BoB.
The Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) recently issued a warning against the growing trend in cyber criminality in the form of virtual assets and illegal online investment schemes.
FIA’s analysis, based on financial disclosures filed by specified parties, information from open sources and law enforcement partners, indicates that the scams are using social media platforms for recruitment, promising rapid return on investment to unsuspecting victims.