Daily fraud update: 6th December

Chris Lee

South African central bank hits out at crypto fraud

The South Africa Reserve Bank has announced it will be introducing a new set of guidelines to help individuals in the country look after their crypto assets better.

It follows a consultation process which the central bank, known as SARB, has been through over the last four years or so.

However, the new guidelines will kick in from 2020 onwards.

The main worry for many at the bank is that cryptocurrencies have recently been used to facilitate a way around currency controls – and as a result, it will soon be the case that some form of cryptocurrency control is likely to be implemented.

It is understood that the bank is planning to refer all large crypto transactions to an investigative body.

This comes after Jack Dorsey, who is known both for running Twitter but also for running payments services firm Square, headed to Africa to visit a range of nations including Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa as part of a mission to enhance and embed cryptocurrency uptake there.

“Sad to be leaving the continent… for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!) Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for three to six months mid-2020”, Dorsey wrote afterwards.

OneCoin sites go down as fraud worries persist

The websites of alleged interest Ponzi scheme OneCoin have gone down in a sign that the organisation is beginning to crumble.

The website of the organisation, onecoin.eu, was down – and there is now an error message posted there.

According to Eurid, which owns the domain registry, this was because of the “investigation”.

“The domain name [onecoin.eu] is under legal investigation. Please further check our WHOIS for the status of the domain name”, it said.

Prior to this, there were a wide range of other twists and turns in what has quickly become a major saga in the crypto world.

One such twist was the disappearance of Ruja Igntova, one of the co-founders of the organisation.

She is currently still missing.

Her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, has now entered into a plea deal with the US authorities.

There is now believed to be a possibility that Ignatov may be able to escape prison and enter the US witness protection programme, which would allow him to live a new life.

Ignatov has been quoted in the media as saying that his sister sought his help to travel.

“As her brother, I wanted to know how she was, why she was so worried. I went to her house and witnessed her having more or less a nervous breakdown”, he is quoted as saying.

He is also quoted as suggesting that there may be a Russian connection.

“Ruja told me she knew someone very rich and powerful there”, he said.

Overall, it is alleged that OneCoin has scammed around $4bn from investors over its time in existence.


Chris Lee

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