The Zambian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has re-published a ‘notice on Cryptocurrencies And Related Digital Products/Assets‘ dated February 13th, 2018, following investment inquiries from the public regarding, the Kenyan cryptocurrency, OnyxCoin.
According to the Zambian SEC Chief Executive Officer, Philip Chitalu, KWAKOO and its promoters and/or representatives are NOT licensed or authorized by the SEC to provide investment advice or solicit funds from the Zambian investing public for investment in any financial product in Zambia or elsewhere.
The SEC boss went on to further clarify what Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are explaining that such offerings are not standardized and their legal and regulatory status is likely to depend on the circumstances of the individual ICO further warning that there are clear risks associated with these offerings.
The notice on cryptocurrencies however points out that SEC has no jurisdiction over cryptocurrencies and digital assets stating:
“Many have asked whether these products/assets are safe to invest in and if they fall under the Commission’s ambit. The fact of the matter is that currently these products/assets are not regulated by the Commission unless they meet the definition of a security as defined by the Act and this, as indicated above will be considered on a case by case basis.”
In 2018, the Central Bank of Zambia (BoZ) also put a cautionary statement saying that “cryptocurrencies like bitcoin aren’t legal tender.” The bank however has no legal provision for regulation of the (digital currency) market since the crypto market developed well after the BoZ Act was instituted and there has been no effort on the part of government to revise it.
In an exclusive statement to BitcoinKE, the CEO of OnyxCoin, Anthony Saint, said:
“It’s the prerogative of Central banks and financial regulatory bodies to give oversight over and safeguard the public’s interest when it comes to financial instruments, digital assets and other related derivatives. We can’t challenge that authority.
We don’t dispute the regulating bodies responsibility to protect its citizens. We however urge them to move with speed to create regulation for fintech, digital assets, and the like otherwise, with people having the internet and a mobile device… its impossible to stop the march of these innovations.
I strongly believe that the people of Zambia and from other countries who’ve invested stand to gain as we grow and thrive. OnyxPay prototype is up and running, our source code is open and public, and our academy is live. We strive to create lasting value for the investors now and the future.”
Kwakoo Group, the Kenyan company behind OnyxCoin, recently launched OnyxPay, a decentralized exchange that allow users to buy and sell its cryptocurrency, after completion of its OnyxCoin public sale. The crypto has also recently come under the radar of the Rwandan Capital Markets Authority.