Africrypt Cryptocurrency Scam: FSCA Considering Cryptocurrency Regulation

Africrypt Cryptocurrency Scam: FSCA Considering Cryptocurrency Regulation

Following the Africrypt scandal, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has released a statement yesterday noting that it lacked regulatory jurisdiction over cryptocurrencies. The regulator also warned the public about the “high-risk nature of investing in crypto assets.”

In addition to its worries over the “suitability of crypto assets as an asset class” and their volatility, the FSCA also expressed worry over the “the large number of scams being perpetrated by persons purporting to provide the crypto asset to the public.”

The regulatory agency asserted that many cryptocurrency investment companies carry out fraudulent operations. The FSCA noted that:

“Many of these entities (which we refer to as intermediaries) are often not based in South Africa or have poor security in place to protect the crypto asset being acquired by the public, and in theory, held on behalf of the customer. Often, however, these intermediaries are just fraudulent operators.”

While the agency acknowledged that the crypto space in South Africa contained “[several] legitimate players offering a legitimate service,” it urged investors to exercise caution given the “very large number of unscrupulous players in this sector.”

Africrypt Scam Imitates MTI’s

In its statement, the FSCA asserted that it would “continue to update the public as more information becomes available regarding Africrypt.” The statement also advised investors to “always check that an entity or individual is registered with the FSCA to provide Financial Advisory & Intermediary Services.” The regulatory agency is currently considering declaring crypto assets as financial products.

The Africrypt scam followed a similar process to the Mirror Trading International (MTI), which ranked as the most significant Bitcoin scam of 2020. Like MTI, Africrypt collapsed after its executives fled with investors’ funds. The collapse came after a breach and subsequent freeze in withdrawals in April.

At the time, Africrypt directors Ameer Cajee and his brother Raees Cajee alerted investors that the breach had compromised “client accounts, wallets, and nodes.” The directors also warned their clients against involving legal bodies as that “will only delay the recovery process.”

Reports claim that the brothers fled to the UK since the company collapsed.

 

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Author : Azeez Mustapha

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Azeez Mustapha is an experienced author, trader, markets analyst, signals strategist, and funds-manager.