Uganda to Regulate Cryptocurrencies Over the Rise of Crypto-Related Pyramid Schemes

  • Uganda is reportedly going to regulate cryptocurrencies as there's been a rise of crypto-related pyramid schemes in the country.
  • The country's central bank has in the past warned citizens not to invest in cryptos.

The government of Uganda is reportedly set to regulate cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as crypto-related schemes are seemingly on the rise in the country. Several of the country’s policymakers have called on regulations to protect the public.

According to local news outlet Independent,  Uganda’s Minister of State for Finance David Bahati revealed the government is set to introduce a new bill regulating cryptocurrencies while responding to concerns raised by Members of Parliament (MPs) over the ongoing rise of unregulated pyramid schemes.

 He was quoted as saying:

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.

Mathias Mpuuga, the representative of the Masaka Municipality, replied that there are “agencies dealing in crypto currency but are defrauding people,” and queried the government as to why it “would allow such agencies to operate in the country.”

Mpuuga reportedly named what he called “agencies posing as cryptocurrency dealers,” which included “Ripcoin, Namecoin and Bitcoin.” Per his words, there’s currently no legal framework to supervise these “dealers.”

He added that a pyramid scheme called Telex Free swindled various investors, including some MPs. To the policymaker, the influx of unregulated “digital currency dealers” should be addressed as a “potential bomb” the government should protect its citizens from.

Responding, Bahati claimed the government was aware of fraud cases related to cryptocurrency dealers, and reminded the parliament that earlier this year the central bank of Uganda, the Bank of Uganda, warned against trading bitcoin and other cryptos.

The Central Bank said Bitcoin and all these agencies are not under their control; we advised Ugandans to go slow and be cautious.

He added that those who trade cryptocurrencies were further cautioned not to do so on unregulated platforms. Odonga Otto, another MP, intervened to ask the Finance Ministry to “go beyond warnings and defend the population.” He was quoted as saying:

I am currently privy to a case in court of one of the pyramid schemes called D9 that has defrauded many Ugandans including some MPs yet there is no legal regime in which people can claim their money.

Notably, the cryptocurrency scene has seemingly been growing in Uganda. As CryptoGlobe covered Binance, the number one cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume, has opened a fiat-to-crypto platform in the country, which gained a massive 40,000 sign-ups in its opening week.

Brazil’s Securities Watchdog Blocks Binance From Offering Derivatives

  • Brazil's SEC has blocked Binance from offering derivatives products in the country.
  • Brazilian regulators ruled that derivative contracts are securities, regardless of whether they involve crypto-assets. 

Brazil’s equivalent of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM), has blocked leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance from offering derivative products in the country. 

According to an order published July 6, reported on by local news outlet Portal do Bitcoin, Brazilian regulators claimed derivative contracts are securities, regardless of whether the underlying assets are cryptocurrencies. 

The order reads, 

It remains evident that there are indications that the company BINANCE FUTURES, through the page '"" on the world wide web, captures customers residing in Brazil with a public offering of derivative intermediation services.

The order continued, adding that Binance “does not hold authorization” to act as an intermediary for securities in the country. 

The CVM determined that Binance must immediately suspend the “broadcasting of any public offering of securities intermediation services,” including derivatives products or else face a daily fine of R $1,000 ($186). 

The order fails to clarify whether Binance’s spot trading services will continue to be allowed to operate in Brazil, as opposed to only banning their derivative offerings. 

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