For the purpose of setting the records straight, it is vital that the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) make the following statements in relation to recent developments surrounding the reports in the news concerning Bluekey Investments. This has become necessary following certain misgivings in certain quarters in the community.
According to news reports, on Friday 30 August 2019, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arrested operators of Bluekey Investment Club in Port Harcourt. EFCC arrested 19 staff members of Bluekey and eventually arrested Bluekey founder as well. The allegation against Bluekey is that it operates an unlicensed investment company reportedly running a Ponzi scheme that had defrauded members of the public to the tune of N2,000,000,000 (two billion Naira only). Before this issue came up, Bluekey had invited SiBAN President to the launching of its Bluekey Market Hub in Port Harcourt. Though unrelated to the alleged unlicensed Bluekey investment scheme, a few members of the blockchain community appear to believe that Bluekey investment scheme enjoys SiBAN’s endorsement.
We make the following statements:
- Contrary to certain misgivings in the community, Bluekey was NOT endorsed by SiBAN. SiBAN Chairman, Mr Paul Ezeafulukwue, attended Bluekey’s recent launching of its Bluekey Hub upon invitation by the management to speak on a topic that bordered on blockchain. An endorsement, as wrongly claimed or alleged by some members of the community, denotes or presupposes that SiBAN has approved Bluekey’s products or services, which invariably includes its investment scheme. This is false. SiBAN has neither endorsed nor approved any such thing.
- Bluekey did not invite the SiBAN Chairman to endorse or launch its now questionable Bluekey investment scheme. It is therefore wrong to describe SiBAN Chairman’s presence at Bluekey event where Bluekey launched a hub as an endorsement, directly or indirectly, of Bluekey’s investment scheme.
- It is not in SiBAN’s records, including at Caretaker Committee level, that SiBAN ever considered endorsement of Bluekey’s projects, or any other project for that matter. Our proper endorsement procedure is integrated into our Standard Listing and Special Listing scheme which SiBAN recently launched. This scheme affords SiBAN the opportunity to conduct some level of due diligence before approving such projects for listing on our sites. And SiBAN has not been in any hurry to list any projects so far.
- SiBAN is not in the best position to tell whether Bluekey investment scheme is indeed a scam or not as the matter is under investigation by the EFCC. SiBAN is confident that the EFCC, the law-enforcement agency that has taken on the matter, will handle the matter as best they can in accordance with the law.
- In any case, to avoid any misgivings or unintended consequences, confusions, or fears in the community regarding any action of SiBAN or any of its Caretaker Committee members acting in official capacity on behalf of SiBAN, SiBAN Caretaker Committee will introduce stringent standards and preconditions before SiBAN or any member of its Caretaker Committee member attends any conference henceforth. Also, any Caretaker Committee member who is in any way associated with any project on a personal capacity will be required to declare it publicly to avoid any conflicts of interest.
- Sanitizing Nigeria’s blockchain and cryptocurrency space is a collective responsibility of every one of us, not SiBAN alone. You are encouraged to play your path by reporting any issues, concerns, or fears you might have. Publishing unfounded allegations against SiBAN without first verifying facts is not in the collective best interest of the community.
- Any member of the blockchain and cryptocurrency community who has any concerns about any issue where SiBAN is or may be involved should endeavour to always make enquiries by contacting any member of the Caretaker Committee or by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Signed: Emmanuel Babalola, Secretary, SiBAN Caretaker Committee