Uganda has created a committee of experts to study cryptocurrencies. The East African country is seeking to foster the growth of the industry and stamp out fraud which has been rampant. While urging the citizens to beware of the scams, the government believes that the underlying blockchain technology can solve many of the country’s ills.
Addressing the National Assembly, the State Minister of Finance David Bahati stated that the government established the Expert National Taskforce on Fourth Industrial Revolution in order to give it a better handle on emerging technology. The committee advises the government on how to harness technologies such as blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, quantum computing, nanotechnology and more.
“Blockchain is one of the disruptive technologies that can be harnessed to revolutionize and improve business processes,” he stated as reported by Chimp Reports.
On cryptos, the taskforce is expected to provide proposals on how best to regulate them and apply them in the Ugandan financial system. However, he cautioned the public when it came to investing in cryptos, reminding them that the industry isn’t regulated by the government.
“Bank of Uganda and my Ministry has on several occasions, through the media, advised the general public on the risks associated with cryptocurrency. To that end, we have continued to advise the public to desist from investing in cryptocurrencies since they are yet to be supervised and regulated in Uganda,” he stated.
The Minister also recognized the great steps the government has taken towards legitimizing crypto in the country. They include amending the Penal Code Act by the Ministry of Justice to criminalize crypto Ponzi schemes and the licensing of legitimate crypto companies by the Uganda Registration Services Bureau. The Office of the President has also been working with the Bank of Uganda to educate the masses on crypto and how to spot scams. The National Assembly is also in the process of amending the Anti-Money Laundering Act to bring cryptos under the purview of the Financial Intelligence Authority.
The Ugandan government’s action towards crypto comes at a time when the country has been rocked by a mega crypto scam. Known as Dunamiscoins Resource Ltd, the scam has over 5,000 victims who lost 10 billion UGX ($2.7 million). Two directors of the now defunct firm have been arrested and charged with fraud, with the victims seeking the government’s help in recovering their investment.
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