Considering the prevalence of ponzi schemes out there, SiBAN is happy to note that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been tracking ponzi schemes and plans to clamp down on them soon.
Described by SEC as “money doubling”, a number of illegal fund managers have continued to rear their ugly heads in the space, promising what unsuspecting members of the public consider mouth-watering profits they can’t resist. These are ponzi schemes that eventually get investors’ fingers burnt and negatively affect genuine investment opportunities.
Paul Ezeafulukwe, SiBAN Chairman, expressed his concerns about ponzi schemes and how this may have been giving a bad name to Nigeria’s emerging blockchain & cryptocurrency space. “I acknowledge the SEC’s effort so far towards cleaning up the market and ensuring investor safety. As a self-regulatory body in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space, we have ourselves been concerned with the prevalence of ponzi schemes in the country, especially those ponzi schemes that pretend to deploy blockchain-powered or crypto-based investment opportunities to investors.”
Mr Ezeafulukwe who is presently implementing internal measures at SiBAN that will help sanitize the space continued, “From time to time, SiBAN has published public notices to this effect, warning unsuspecting members of the public to stare clear of such illegal schemes. Our members, who are in the forefront of innovations, are prohibited from involving themselves in such schemes, and we continue to help sanitize the blockchain and cryptocurrency space in this regard. But we cannot do it alone without some level of institutional support from SEC. There is a lot more we can do to protect investors and create new opportunities for the Nigerian economy.”
Beyond public notices, SiBAN strongly believes that SEC needs to effectively boost awareness against the illegal activities of ponzi schemes in Nigeria across social media.
According to the General Secretary of SiBAN, Senator Ihenyen, “Nigeria’s cyberspace needs to be safer for all, including investors. I see a need to develop an anti-ponzi scheme or anti-scam awareness campaign that will go beyond the traditional media. Adequate awareness needs to be channeled towards social media such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and then the world of instant messaging such as Telegram and WhatsApp. The SEC needs to effectively decentralize its awareness campaigns. From our experience, ponzi-scheme promoters use these channels more.”
Doris Ojuederie, the Chairperson of SiBAN’s Ethics, Complaint, and Disciplinary Committee echoed the same point as stated above. “We are a decentralized community. This makes SiBAN well-positioned to help regulators not only understand the space better but also help the SEC effectively reach places it may be unable to reach considering its centralized structure. By working with us, SEC’s anti-ponzi scheme awareness campaigns could be taken to Facebook, WhatsApp, Telegram, and other online communities. To play well and play effectively, we recognize that players need to continually engage regulators. And vice versa. More so, this will give the SEC an opportunity to understand our ecosystem. This will go a long way to send the guys with bad intentions far away while real projects attract investments and thrive.”
SiBAN advises members of the public to always be alert. Last year, SiBAN introduced its firstname.lastname@example.org, a dedicated email address for any person who wishes to alert SiBAN about any scam in Nigeria’s blockchain & cryptocurrency space.