By Ivan Mwine
The Bank Of Uganda (BoU) has reiterated its warning to all Ugandans dealing in cryptocurrency and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that they are doing so at their own risk.
The public warning is contained in a circular to all Licensees under the National Payment Systems Act, 2020, titled ‘Facilitating Trade In Crypto Assets, issued by BoU’s Acting Director Andrew Kawere, which states in part thus;
Reference is made to the above subject;
Bank of Uganda has noted press reports and adverts advising the public that they can convert crypto currencies into mobile money and vice versa. We are also aware that such a conversion cannot happen without the participation of the Payment Service Providers and Payment System Operators.
This is to advise that Bank of Uganda has not licensed any institution to sell cryptocurrencies or to facilitate the trade in crypto-currencies.
This is in line with the official Government position as communicated by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in October 2019.
Accordingly, this is to warn all licensed entities under the National Payment Systems Act, 2020 to desist from facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.
Bank of Uganda shall not hesitate to invoke its powers under Section 13 (1) (b) & (f) of the NPS Act, 2020 for any licenses that will be found in breach of the above directive.”
It should however be noted that the warning from BoU comes at a time when several unsuspecting Ugandans have lost millions of shillings through dubious cryptocurrency deals and unscrupulous dealers.