CMA warns against Kenicoin initial coin offering and trading
Nairobi, 3 January, 2019…In a bid to protect investors, Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has cautioned the public against participating in any initial coin offering or trading in any coin exchange offered by Wiseman Talent Ventures.
‘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.
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. 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 Kshs2,000 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.
BACKROUND INFORMATION ON THE CAPITAL MARKETS AUTHORITY
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.