Government warns the public against investing in Ponzi and Pyramid schemes and Cryptocurrencies
“Bank of Uganda and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development have on several occasions, through the media, advised the general Public on the risks associated with crypto-currency. To that end, we have continued to advise the public to desist from investing in crypto-currencies, since they are yet to be supervised and regulated in Uganda. We have therefore strongly encouraged the members of the public to do their business transactions with only licensed financial institutions.” This was a statement in part by Hon. David Bahati the State Minister for Finance, while making a statement to Parliament regarding Government position on Ponzi and Pyramid schemes and crypto-currencies in Uganda.
This follows Parliament’s resolution urging Government to ban Ponzi and Pyramid schemes in Uganda in November 2019. The minister told Parliament that in order to harness this disruptive technology, Government in March 2019, established the Expert National Task Force on Fourth lndustrial Revolution to consider and advise Government on how to harness emerging technologies in the fields of Artificial lntelligence (Al), Big Data, Block chain Technologies, Robotics, the Internet of Things (lOT), Cloud Computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, genetic engineering, quantum computing, autonomous vehicles and 3D/4D printing. He noted that the Taskforce will also consider global trends, with a focus on developments and aspirations for Uganda and the East African region. The Task Force is therefore expected to explore the issue of crypto-currencies and provide proposals on its application in Uganda.
Hon Mwine Mpaka (Youth Western) raised concerns over some Ponzi and Pyramid schemes are operated by people in Government adding that, ‘one of the companies is operated by Kwame Rugunda son to the Prime Minister Rt. Hon Ruhakana Rugunda. In response Hon. David Bahati said that Kwame Rugunda was not involved in ponzi and pyramid schemes but rather deals in block chain technology which can also be of beneficial application in various sectors such as land registration; industry and manufacturing; logistics and transport; and record keeping; among others.
The Minister assured the August House that the Second Schedule of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2013 was also being amended to include Virtual Assets Providers on the list of accountable persons which would bring Virtual Assets Service Providers, including providers of crypto-currencies, to be brought under the purview of the Financial intelligence Authority, and would be required to adhere to reporting requirements under the Act.