The Central Bank has warned against any involvement in crypto-assets activities as they are defrauding the public. Crypto assets are a digital representation of value or purely digital assets that you can transfer, store, or trade electronically. Central Bank on February 10, said that use of Crypto-assets is on the rise and warned the public. ALSO READ: RIB names 10 companies involved in white-collar crimes “It has come to the attention of the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) that there is increasing promotion of Crypto-assets by both individuals and entities promising high returns. The public is hereby advised to be vigilant with respect to crypto-assets as these assets carry substantial risks,” reads part of the public notice signed by Soraya Hakuziyaremy, the Deputy Governor and Acting Governor of the Central Bank. The bank said that the substantial risks include absence of protection. “Crypto-assets come in many forms and remain unregulated. Therefore, consumers and investors involved in this business will not benefit from the guarantees and safeguards associated with regulated financial services,” add the statement from the Bank The warning said that the business is behind theft and loss risk. “Some crypto-assets scams taking novel forms promising unrealistic high returns have been reported in past here in Rwanda and in some instances owners of exchange platforms or service providers disappeared after defrauding the public,” the monetary authority warned. With extreme volatility, most of the crypto-assets, it said, are speculative in nature and lack substantial economic value. “The price volatility of crypto-assets including the stable coins expose investors and financial institutions to a very high risk of losing their assets,” the central bank added. For instance, it explained, the market value of crypto-assets declined from $3 trillion in 2021 to only one trillion in mid-2022. Due to the anonymity nature and ability to move money across countries, crypto-assets are exposed to money laundering activities and may affect the integrity and reputation of the country and financial system in particular, Central Bank added. It has thus requested the general public to take note of risks and to refrain from being lured into crypto-assets-related investments including promoting, buying, selling or accepting them for payment until a regulatory framework has been put in place. “Any consumer or investor involved in crypto-assets is not protected by any law or any competent authority in Rwanda,” the warning emphasized. Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) also recently warned the public against working with over 10 companies that are allegedly committing white-collar crimes including those buying crypto currency, buying shares, and online forex trading. White-collar crimes refer to financially motivated, nonviolent or non-directly violent crimes committed by individuals, businesses and government professionals. They include wage theft, fraud, bribery, insider trading, labour racketeering, embezzlement, cybercrime, copyright infringement, money laundering, identity theft, forgery and others. The crimes also include Ponzi schemes, a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors.