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Business News of Wednesday, 27 March 2019


Don’t trade in crypto, it’s illegal – MPs to Ghanaians

Millions of people around the world are losing billions of dollars through cryptocurrency Millions of people around the world are losing billions of dollars through cryptocurrency

MPs have warned the public against investing in cryptocurrency as they demand legislation to regulate activities of cryptocurrency transactions in the country.

According to them, millions of people across the globe are losing billions of dollars through cryptocurrency transactions thus the need for immediate executive attention.

In a statement on the floor of the House on Wednesday, the Member of Parliament for Juaben Ama Pomaa Boateng said the government must critically look at the emerging trend to protect Ghanaians investment.

She said some one hundred and nine thousand Ghanaians have been swindled to the tune one hundred and thirty, five million Ghana cedi in the cryptocurrency syndicate as a result of the lack of compliance due to the nature of cryptocurrency and crypto access as users are anonymous and collecting data on digital currency users becomes a challenge.

She, however, noted that with the right regulatory framework Ghana’s economy will benefit immensely from the digital currency world saying it has the potential “to change the way we bank, make transactions and view money.”

“Mr Speaker, in today’s digital economy, there’s an urgent need for members of this House to expand our knowledge and pioneer legislation that recognises the blockchain technology and virtual currencies,” she said.

“The government also has to in the absence of legislation set up a register and possibly an exchange platform for the service providers of cryptocurrency to enable the government to oversee these virtual activities and create a stable regulatory environment where cryptocurrency can thrive,” she added.

Contributing to the statement, Deputy Minority Leader, James Klutse Avedzi said the government must resource the Bank of Ghana to conduct research and training to regulate the transactions.

He said: “This is a very technical and a new platform, a new phenomenon that most people do not know of. In fact, if count the Members of Parliament who know cryptocurrency you can get only a few.”

Chairman of Parliament’s Finance Committee, Dr Mark Assibey Yeboah who described the transaction in the country as illegal urged Ghanaians to stay away from investing in cryptocurrency business since the BoG is currently struggling to regulate such transactions.

He said the key feature of cryptocurrency is that there is no centralised control and that is a great a challenge and that cryptocurrency strikes a lot of fear in people to the extent that some had suggested it “a waiting bubble to bust.”

He said “this bit of lack of central control is what all countries are grappling with. So, if we legislate in Ghana that people can trade crypto, Mr Speaker this is a network of file sharing. Let’s say, Ama transfers money to me then it broadcast in the network which will take some time to filter through then everybody notes that transaction that this transfer has been effected from Ama to myself.

“Mr Speaker, this is not like a cheque that is being cleared by the central bank. So, if you have money it is digital money and people are trading in this, you are building an asset it can crumble one day. So there’s no legislation governing the trading of crypto in Ghana, it is illegal and you can lose your money.”