The Capital Markets Authority in Kenya (CMA) has cautioned the public against participating in any initial coin offering or trading in any coin exchange offered by Wiseman Talent Ventures.
In a press statement seen by The Exchange, the authority noted that CMA noted that Wiseman Talent Ventures is raising money from the public through issuance of digital tokens in the form of Coins and further providing a platform for the trading of the said Coins on its coin exchange styled as www.kenicoinexchange.com.
‘It is important for the general public to note that the nature and features of the Capital Raising and Coins Trading promoted by Wiseman Talent Ventures is taking the form of Regulated activities which have not yet been approved by the Authority’, CMA Chief Executive Mr. Paul Muthaura noted.
According to the authority, the firm also promised guaranteed returns of 10 percent monthly on the initial investment in Coins which were issued at Kshs100 at the Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and are now purportedly being marketed as trading at Sh2,000 ($19.57) at its Coin Exchange.
Further, the Kencoin value being marketed as exponentially rising since its initial offering poses substantive information asymmetry, liquidity and fraud risks.
The Authority is currently investigating the operations of Wiseman Talent Ventures.
“We have noted discrepancies in the information provided on the firm’s 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,” Mr. Muthaura added.
Global trends in unregulated digital currencies demonstrates that the cryptoasset market is uncertain and has experienced accelerated boom and bust cycles which may expose investors to substantial losses. By comparison in December 2017, the price of Bitcoin was US$19,783 and it has since fallen to US$3,810, Litecoin was US$366 a coin and has since come down to US$30. Ethereum was US$ 1,400 in January 2018 and has fallen to US$130.
A peek into the site by the Exchange, shows an array of activities including buying Kenicoin via by depositing money into their accounts.
“You can deposit Kenyan shilling, BTC and ETH to buy KeniCoin.” Reads a statement on its website.
The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) was set up in 1989 as a statutory agency under the Capital Markets Act Cap 485A. It is charged with the prime responsibility of both regulating and developing an orderly, fair and efficient capital markets in Kenya with the view to promoting market integrity and investor confidence.
The regulatory functions of the Authority as provided by the Act and the regulations include; Licensing and supervising all the capital market intermediaries. The authority also ensures compliance with the legal and regulatory framework by all market participants; Regulating public offers of securities, such as equities and bonds as well as the issuance of other capital market products such as collective investment schemes. It is also involved in promoting market development through research on new products and services, reviewing the legal framework to respond to market dynamics and promoting investor education and public awareness.