100,000 Ghanaians lose $25m in Cryptocurrency scam

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Reports coming in shows that at least 110,000 Ghanaian investors have lost their investment totaling GHC135 million ($25.71m) to crypto investment scams and hacks in 2018. This comes as no surprise as there has been some conversation going on since 2016 about the authenticity of some crypto investment firms operating in the country.

Members of Parliament are alarmed over the report and want regulators to police the sector to save Ghanaians from falling prey to scammers.

Leading the campaign is MP for Juaben Ama Pomaa Boateng who is pushing for a sound crypto regulation. The Scammers promised victims a monthly return of 27-percent for a year but later ran away with their crypto-based capital investments.

“There is the issue of lack of compliance due to the nature of cryptocurrency and crypto asset because the users are anonymous and it is extremely difficult to collect data on digital currency users,” Boateng said in Parliament.

Cryptocurrency is an electronic finance trade in cyberspace, where “miners” use the power of their computers to solve complex algorithms that serve as verification for transactions.

Rewards are stored digitally and passed between buyers and sellers without any need for an intermediary such as the Bank of Ghana or any other financial institution.

Consequently, users do not need to use their real-world identities. Instead, they are represented by addresses, strings of random letters and numbers, taking control out of the hands of third parties and giving users the freedom to transact while protecting their privacy.

This infringes the central bank’s historically exclusive right to issue money and control money supply.

Contributing to the statement, the chairman of the finance committee of Parliament, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, said currently anybody who does crypto trades is engaged in an illegal transaction.

According to him, there is no centralized control as far as the trade in Bitcoin is concerned.

Until such time as the Bank of Ghana gains a firm grip on crypto, the country will not be safe using these transactions, Dr Assibey Yeboah said.

“This is a digital platform where money is transferred amongst the peers. It is not the cheque system where a central bank clears it,” he said.

In relation to this story, The Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO) has arrested two directors of Global Coin Community Help, an illegal crypto currency firm.

The company is said to be an institution operating under a false name, even though it has not been licensed to operate by the Bank of Ghana or the Securities and Exchanges Commission.

According to the anti-graft body, the suspects have defrauded over 3,000 unsuspected ‘investors’ who have pumped millions of Ghana Cedis into the company’s activities.

They  succeeded in collecting a whopping GH¢47,239,000 from their depositors and have dissipated the amount within the one year of their operation.

The facts said investigations revealed that Global Coin Community Help was just a sham under the guise of trading in crypto currency online to defraud unsuspecting depositors/customers when indeed they were dealing in deposit-taking in violation of banking laws of the country.


Source: Daily Mail GH

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