Run from "dangerous" cryptocurrencies – MPs

Ghana’s MPs on Wednesday, 27 March 2019, called for legislation to regulate cryptocurrency trading, investments and transactions. Cryptocurrency investment schemes are becoming popular among Ghanaians...


Ghana’s MPs on Wednesday, 27 March 2019, called for legislation to regulate cryptocurrency trading, investments and transactions.

Cryptocurrency investment schemes are becoming popular among Ghanaians.

For instance, in late last year, exactly 109, 259 Ghanaian investors were scammed by Global Coin Community Help (GCCH), a cryptocurrency investment syndicate.

The Economic and Organised Crime Office (EOCO) grilled the two directors of GCCH for allegedly swindling the investors of GHS135 million.

The two GCCH directors, Mr Kwaku Damete Kumi and Mr David Opatey, were released on bail by the state investigative body after several hours of interrogation in November.

The then-Executive Director of EOCO, Mr K.K. Amoah, confirmed the arrest of the two in an interview with the Daily Graphic on Tuesday, November 27.

“Yes, we have arrested them and released them after thorough interrogations and we have asked them to report again next week to continue with them,” the EOCO boss said.

“We get a fresh list of depositors who have been swindled one way or another every day and so the 110,000 figure is likely to go up by the end of the week, and the number of deposits would likely go up.

“There are several other syndicates of this type we have arrested and they are being questioned and very soon they will be arraigned,” he added.

According to the MPs, the government must give the cryptocurrency industry some attention as millions of people across the globe lose billions of dollars through cryptocurrency transactions.

In a statement on the floor of the house on Wednesday, 27 March 2019, MP for Juaben, Ama Pomaa Boateng, urged the government to, as a matter of urgency, critically look at the emerging trend to protect the investments of the ordinary Ghanaian.

She stated: “There’s also the lack of compliance due to the nature of cryptocurrency and crypto assets, as users are anonymous and collecting data on digital currency users becomes a challenge. However, there’re several benefits that cryptocurrency can offer our economy if it is properly managed with the right laws to back it. Beyond its anonymous nature, cryptocurrency has the potential to change the way we bank, make transactions and view money.

“Over the past three years, there has been a rush in the usage of cryptocurrency, favoured by the internet explosion and cheap and powerful hardware.

“Switzerland’s parliament approved the motion for cryptocurrency regulation and stated that the motion is the first step in tackling issues like money laundering, extortion and criminal fraud.

“In South Africa, a crypto assets regulatory working group has been established and amendments are being made to their taxation laws as reported on 2 January 2019”, she noted.

Contributing to the statement, the Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah, described crypto transactions and investments in the country as illegal and urged Ghanaians to steer clear of them since the Bank of Ghana is currently struggling to regulate such transactions.

“You have money, it is digital money, and people are trading in it, so, you’re building an asset, so, it can crumble one day. So, there’s no legislation governing the regulation in the trading of crypto in Ghana.

“It is dangerous and you can lose your money in a day. The central bank itself is grappling with how to regulate these.”

“Until such time that we’re able to have a handbill on how to regulate cryptocurrency in our country, my simple advice will be to stay away until we fashion legislation that can govern the activities of crypto”, Dr Assibey Yeboah added.

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Source: Ghana/ClassFMonline.com/91.3FM



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