Business 17 October 2018

Dennis Wafula

Maldives central warns against bogus permits for crypto trade

The Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), which acts as the central bank of the South Asian country, has issued a warning against cryptocurrency trading. Specifically, the financial authority wanted the public to be wary of social media advertisements promoting the activity in the Maldives.

In a statement posted on its website last Oct. 11, MMA pointed out that it is the only agency in the country with the mandate to license money exchanges business and money remittance firms. And so far, it has not issued any permits to businesses conducting cryptocurrency activities in the country.

“The MMA brings to the attention of the public that no party has been granted permission to conduct any financial transactions using cryptocurrencies or other virtual currencies in the Maldives. Furthermore, the issuance of any legal tender by any other party is against the law,” according to the central bank.

The statement comes amid the increasing attention of social media advertisements regarding cryptocurrencies and other virtual currencies in the country.

In the last couple of months, many jurisdictions have taken a stance against cryptocurrency trade in their countries. Authorities in these countries have given out various reasons for their decisions but all seem to be agree on one fact—legal frameworks for crypto activities need to be created.

Just last week, Zambia’s central bank, the Bank of Zambia, stated that cryptocurrencies were not a legal tender and warned the public against partaking in the trade. According to reports, BoZ issued the statement after many of the citizens in the countries raised concern on the legality of various cryptocurrencies.

Due to the increased uncertainties associated with the cryptocurrency market, financial authorities, including securities and commodities regulators and central banks are advising investors to exercise caution before venturing into any crypto-related activities. In addition to the uncertainties, there had been an increase in criminal activities associated with the industry, resulting in many investors losing their money to frauds and scams.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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