The Central Bank of Samoa has issued a warning against digital currency, including bitcoin, as part of a larger effort to crack down on get rich quick schemes.
The Central Bank’s Warning
The Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) has issued a warning against get rich quick schemes and digital currency such as bitcoin. This is the first time the bank has spoken against digital currency investments.
“It has been brought to our attention that a lot of get rich quick schemes and digital currency investment opportunities are being spread around the country through presentations and through social media,” the bank wrote, citing Facebook as the prime example of a social media venue. The CBS announced this week:
We wish to advise the general public to be very cautious and diligent in dealing with get rich quick schemes or digital currency investments.[…] Please be aware and extra cautious of these investments.
In the same statement, the bank defined digital currency as “the use of electronic money which is different from the money we use physically like our tala notes or coins or even our ATM cards,” adding that “an example of this digital currency is bitcoin.”
The CBS also attempted to educate the public about Bitcoin. Without contradicting any benefits Bitcoin offers, it explained how Satoshi Nakamoto invented the cryptocurrency because “the financial crisis was caused by financial institutions such as banks” and that Satoshi’s “solution to the financial crisis was to ‘remove’ the financial institutions and let the people deal directly with each other using bitcoin.” Instead of refuting these claims, the bank simply recommended:
If you come across these difficult and complex financial concepts and investments, please contact the Central Bank of Samoa for more information.
Samoan Get Rich Quick Schemes
One particular get rich quick scheme gaining popularity in Samoa “is making rounds among church members and pastors where members are encouraged to sign up and collect membership for the promise of thousands of tala in return,” the Samoa Observer recently reported. “The scheme involves buying into a travel project where members will get cheap travel, accommodation and other perks.”
The CBS has long been concerned about Internet-based scams in the country. “The central bank is seriously concerned over the increasing number of scam cases brought to its attention regarding Samoan residents being lured into believing that he or she is expecting to receive large sums of money from unknown sources communicated through the internet, emails or mobile phones,” the bank announced last year, adding that:
With the improved and sophisticated application of modern computer and electronic technologies, the risk of Samoan residents and businesses becoming victims of these fraudulent activities has also increased.
In conclusion, the central bank urged the public to always conduct independent research before handing over a large amount of cash. Referring to get rich quick schemes and digital currency both, it wrote, “before you invest in these types of ventures, please ensure that you fully understand how it works and the benefits and risks of doing so.”
What do you think about the Central Bank of Samoa warning about digital currency? Let us know in the comments section below.
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