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Regulator cautions public over crypto trading in Kenya

Regulator cautions public over crypto trading in Kenya

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a cautionary statement over KeniCoin crypto tokens and its subsequent trading in Kenya, warning users of the proposed returns from the ICO launched publicly in July 2018.

Based on information on its website, KeniCoin now trades at Kshs 2,000 from the initial price of Kshs 100 in July 2018 - a rise that the CMA doubts, since it promised 10% monthly returns from the initial investment price.

The company claims to have issued 10 million tokens in its public ICO.

According to the CMA, Wiseman Talent Ventures, the company behind the KeniCoin crypto tokens, could be investigated.

The CMA stated: "Further the Capital Markets Authority has noted discrepancies in the information provided in the website www.kenicoin.com and the information given to the authority during interviews of Wiseman Talent Ventures leadership in relation to the total number of Kenicoin sold and the total funds raised. CMA is currently investigating the operations of Wiseman Talent Ventures."

To date Wiseman Talent Ventures has not responded to requests for response to ongoing claims or the possibility of an investigation.

This isn't the first time that the government bodies have issued cautionary statements over crypto currencies. In March 2018, the Central Bank of Kenya warned the public of buying and trading Bitcoin since they were unregulated.

The CMA has also issued a general cautionary to potential investors in crypto currencies describing the global market has volatile.

"By comparison in December 2017, the price of Bitcoin was US$19,783 and it has since fallen to US$3810, Litecoin was US$366 a coin and since has come down to US$30 and Ethereum was US$1400 in January 2018 and has fallen to US$130," the CMA added.

FinTech expert Ali Hussein Kassim added, "This notice from the CMA is instructive. It doesn't condemn Wiseman Talent Ventures neither does it applaud it. I applaud them for this. It is not to shut down the market for crypto currencies. It is for them to create an enabling environment and ensure charlatans do not take advantage of any legal lacuna."

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