Uganda to Regulate Cryptocurrency as Fake Bitcoin Schemes Increases

The Ugandan government have completed plans that would see it regulate crypto assets in the country.

This is to prevent criminals from taking undue advantage of the digit currency space, to scam unsuspecting citizens.

Thousands of Ugandans have fallen victim to various Ponzi schemes, including the D9 Club, which promised to pay members in bitcoin.

This was made known by the Ugandan Minister of State for Finance (Planning) David Bahati, who said the government has completed plans to pass a bill on national payments, which will be tabled in parliament for approval in December.

“In October, Cabinet approved the National Payment System Bill. We intend to bring it to parliament next month so that it caters for all these forms of digital financial transactions,” Bahati told the Ugandan parliament on Nov. 21.

He was responding to concerns by lawmakers over the lack of regulation in the eastern African country’s growing cryptocurrency industry, which has spawned several counterfeit bitcoin schemes.

Although, the finance minister did not provide much details about how the government proposes to enact the new law, but it is already being discussed in parliament.

Mathias Mpuuga, a member of parliament (MP), however, tasked the finance minister, demanding an explanation about the existence of unregulated cryptocurrency dealers, such as one Telex Free, a pyramid scheme accused of allegedly fleecing Ugandans out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He alleges that the scheme defrauded some Ugandan legislators as well.

“There are several agencies posing as cryptocurrency dealers such as ripcoin, namecoin and bitcoin. The challenge is that while this is taking place, there is no legal framework for supervising these players,” Mpuuga was quoted as saying.

He added that, of there is no law but you are aware there are agencies operating in the country, who must answer should a problem arise? Can government at least tell the country (who) the cryptocurrency dealers operating (are).

Bahati while speaking to parliament, said the government has not “officially approved” cryptocurrencies. He noted that bitcoin and all related currencies are not under the control of the Central Bank, while using the opportunity to caution the public to be wary of crypto exchanges, as many operate with false pretence.

Government will next month present a bill to this effect.

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