12 September 2017

Namibia: Central Bank Breaks Silence On Virtual Currencies

THE Bank of Namibia on Friday reminded the public that it does not consider virtual currencies as legal tender in Namibia, and virtual currencies are thus not considered equivalent to the Namibia dollar.

Virtual currency, also known as virtual money, is a type of unregulated, digital money, which is not issued by the central bank.

The central bank said while virtual currencies are currently not regulated in Namibia, they are unsafe to unaware users who do not know of the risks they pose.

The central bank's position on virtual currencies which is available on their website aims to educate the Namibian public, and state their understanding concerning distributed ledger technologies and digital currencies, with a specific focus on virtual currencies.

"It should be noted that there is a difference between a virtual currency and electronic money, even though they are both presented in digital form. The main difference between the two is that electronic money is the digital form of a country's legal tender backed and issued by a central authority, while virtual currencies are not backed by any legal tender currency or central authority," the paper reads.

In Namibia, there is high interest in and emergence of virtual currencies.

In July, The Namibian reported that Undercover Billionaires Namibia, which was registered to facilitate the dreams of Namibians who wished to dive into the booming business of bitcoin, died before it could even take off.

According to investopedia.com, cryptocurrency is "a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security."

Barely two weeks after the bitcoin seminar where South African president of Undercover Billionaires International, Louis JR Tshakoane spoke about the business, the partnership with his Namibian facilitator of the business, Michael Amushelelo, went sour.

At the time, Tshakaone accused Amushelelo of registering the Namibian company 100% in his name, when he opened the bank account as the sole signatory.

Amushelelo currently is also involved in what he calls a 'wealth club', where he fervently seeks for Namibians on social media who would like to 'invest" and join the "wealth club".

In last week's Facebook post on his popular page, the young businessman seeks people who "have just received your inheritance money and have no clue what to do with it. I will advise you to pause, call someone you trust and seek honest advice from them."

He asked those who know that they will soon be receiving inheritance money to call him. On top of that, he also claims to offer forex trading lessons for a day at a N$2 000 fee.

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