The Bank of Uganda (BoU) joins a long list of authorities around the world warning its citizens about Onecoin, the altcoin scheme prominently seen as a scam.
In a public notice to that serves as a “warning to the general public”, Uganda’s central bank explicitly states that the entity “One Coin Digital Money” is an unlicensed entity while plainly revealing the establishment’s whereabouts in Kampala, the country’s capital.
Unlike prominent cryptocurrencies, OneCoin is not based on a public ledger and its very claim of a cryptocurrency is questionable considering its centralized infrastructure and discreet code. OneCoin’s operator has previously stated that it operates in a “unique centralized model” with transactions recorded on a ledger that it manages. Investigative researchers have labeled OneCoin as a “pyramid scheme disguised as a new digital currency ”.
With its relatively new presence in Uganda, the central bank adds that the company and operator of Onecoin was “aggressively encouraging members to buy digital money and promising very high returns and rewards on ‘first-come-first-served’ basis”.
In no uncertain terms, the country’s sole monetary authority added:
The public is hereby warned that whoever deals with “ONE COIN DIGITAL MONEY” does so at his or her own risk.
The central bank also urged caution against any investments in a number of digital currencies. They include One-coin, Bitcoin, Ripple, Peercoin, Namecoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Bytecoin, Primecoin, Blackcoin, or any other forms of digital currency.
The warning comes at a time when Ugandan authorities and academics are coming together to regulate bitcoin, which could make the East African nation the first in the continent to regulate the cryptocurrency.
Uganda follows Nigeria as the latest African authority to warn users of OneCoin. In Europe, the Belgian Financial Services and Markets Authority was among the first regulators to issue a warning against the use of OneCoin in mid-2016. A few months later, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority issued its warning, pointing to an investigation by the City of London Police into the scheme.
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