Crypto-Ponzi schemes in Uganda

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Bank of Uganda (BoU) should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear Bank of Uganda (BoU),
My name is Stephen Kafeero. I am a journalist with the Monitor and an Open Society Fellow for Investigative Journalism at Wits University where I am pursuing my masters here in SA. My research is a journalistic investigation into the "systemic regulatory failure and consumer detriment into crypto-Ponzi investment schemes in Uganda''. I focus on the Dunamiscoins scam. As part of my inquiry I have some questions for Bank of Uganda which I believe will enrich my research.

Below are the questions:
1. Information I have from various sources and from BoU and the Finance Ministry pronouncements suggest that your officials knew about these crypto-Ponzi scams especially Dunamiscoins but either couldn’t or didn’t act. Why?

2. One of the emerging threads from my research suggest that Bank of Uganda like many other Central Banks is very reluctant to recognise crypto currencies as they are a threat to fiat currencies in the long term and that you have opted to shun crypto currencies altogether which has given scammers an opportunity to exploit the gaps created and rob Ugandans of billions. What is BoU’s position on this?

3. Bank of Uganda supervises commercial banks and Microfinance Deposit-taking Institutions and Dunamiscoins worked or exploited this space. Billions of investor money was moved through Stanbic Bank, GT Bank and Centenary Bank. The information I have obtained so far suggests that the Commercial Banks did not issue Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) etc. Have there been investigations in this regard by BoU? And what actions, if any, would BoU ideally take in this regard?

4. Bank of Uganda as a key player in the regulation of cryptocurrencies has been slow in taking any action beyond advisories issued to the public yet more and more people have been defrauded in the past three years in schemes anchored on cryptocurrencies. At what point is this likely to change?

5. What measures, if any, are you putting in place or exist to ensure that scammers like Dunamiscoins do not use platforms under the supervision of BoU to launder money but also your brand to lend credence to their scams?

6. Kindly, share any other relevant information or suggest areas of inquiry that can benefit this project.

Yours faithfully,
Stephen Kafeero