New Zealand's Financial Authority Updates List Of 'Suspected' Crypto Scams

Kevin O'Brien

New Zealand’s Financial Markets Authority (FMA) has made a couple of updates to its list of suspected scams by providing information and insight into a couple of cryptocurrency platforms.

Recently, the FMA advised “extreme caution” before investing into OneLife or OneCoin as they “bear the characteristics of a scam.” The regulator indicated they have been “withholding client funds and promising unrealistic funds.”

On the same day, the financial authority updated an entry for Bitcoin Revolution Limited, a platform “that could be involved in a scam.” The website for Bitcoin Revolution Limited advertises how people can “earn up to $1000 per hour or more, starting today!.”

Activities Have Attracted The Attention Of Regulators

The FMA indicated it believes OneLife and OneCoin are breaking New Zealand Law by holding various promotional events and seminars inside the country. A number of global regulators and financial authorities have also published warnings and briefings on OneLife and OneCoin.

OneCoin’s Bulgarian address attracted the attention of the nation’s Financial Supervision Commission, who released an announcement on the platform back in October 2015. It warned investors and consumers that OneCoin was “not regulated by the acting European and national legislation in the area of capital markets.” The Commission noted cryptocurrency investment carries a high degree of risk.

In July 2016, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) warned the public “neither OneCoin, nor the persons promoting OneCoin have been recognized or authorized by the FSMA.”

New Zealand’s FMA also indicated in the release for Bitcoin Revolution Limited how “articles posted on social media about The New Zealand Treasury and/or current or former prime ministers investing in bitcoin are false.” About a year ago, former Prime Minister John Key said he was the victim of a fake New Zealand Herald website that purportedly featured him endorsing bitcoin.  

The fake page was set up by an overseas website and had the former prime minister saying he invested in bitcoin early on and now held $300 million dollar’s worth of the cryptocurrecy. Key noted he never invested in bitcoin.

New Zealand Authorities On The Hunt For Scams

Police inside the small country have been warning citizens to stay vigilant against online scams that involve cryptocurrency.

In late September, police in Canterbury released a news memo about a criminal scheme where a victim lost $320,000 via a cryptocurrency scam. Police said the company “offered extremely good returns from a minimal investment” in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Rwanda’s Central Bank Reportedly Considering Launcing Its Own Cryptocurrency

Michael LaVere
  • The National Bank of Rwanda is considering developing a digital currency. 
  • Planning to use Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands as model countries. 

The National Bank of Rwanda (NBR) is reportedly considering the development and launch of a state-backed cryptocurrency. 

Rwandan Digital Currency

According to a report by Bloomberg published on Aug. 22, the central bank is looking into the feasibility of launching a cryptocurrency that would make processing transactions more efficient in addition to boosting economic growth. 

The report claims that the NBR intends to learn from the experience of Canada, Singapore and the Netherlands--other countries that have tested the use of blockchain technology backing a central bank digital currency. 

Financial Stability Director-General Peace Masozera Uwase told Bloomberg in an interview, 

There are still concerns about how exactly you convert the entire currency into digital form, how to distribute that and how fast can you process those transactions. Challenges come in, if technology is down how do you deal with such issues? “We will join in once we are ready.

Rwanda’s consideration of a digital currency comes just weeks after it was reported that China’s central bank digital currency is set for launch, despite the country’s negative stance towards bitcoin and cryptoassets. 

However, the global attitude of central banks is gradually shifting towards the issuance of a digital currency, as existing financial systems seek to find ways to keep up with the fintech revolution being generated through crypto and blockchain.