Cryptocurrency as an Investment Vehicle:…the plight of the youth

Letting your money work for you is the secret of billionaires and millionaires, as propounded by Kiyosaki & Lechter (1997). In a bid to improve their personal finance to toe the line of these wealthy individuals, young Ghanaians – perhaps after reading the book ‘Rich Dad and Poor Dad’ – have embraced the concept of investments to build up capital needed for various objectives; such as furthering their education, assisting their families in diverse means, setting-up businesses to help improve their economic state and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of our economy and, of course, for socialisation.

Our country has over the years witnessed a series of investment shocks from various institutions: such as Pyram in the 1990s, God is Love and DKM in 2015, and of course Menzgold, which is currently trending. Young Ghanaians have therefore, lost confidence in the county’s financial institutions as a medium of growing their meagre resources – hence turning their attention to Cryptocurrency Companies who presented themselves as investment houses.

Dollarisation 2.0, a cryptocurrency term, is the Internet-based currency for transactions on a peer to peer, decentralised system with no legal tender that has come to restore the lost confidence and convenience of the paper dollar or currencies (Peprah, Afriyie, Abandoh-Sam & Afriyie, 2018). With the introduction of these cryptocurrencies, coupled with blockchain accounts, barriers to global financial transactions are becoming a thing of the past, courtesy of the Internet. One can now trade freely from any part of the world as the Internet has, indeed, made the world a global community.

Exchange of goods and services by means of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, bitcash, etherum, litecoin, dash, Zcash, etc., is on the increase as the world has come to accept this new order of cryptocurrencies. As at 2017, 1 bitcoin was equivalent to US$20,000 (Higgins, 2017). This new world order was iterated by Christine Lagard, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) boss at a 2017 Bank of England conference, where she noted that cryptocurrencies will soon be safer and easier to use globally than paper bills, as cited by Peprah, Afriyie, Abandoh-Sam and Afriyie (2018).

With this global adoption, various companies – such as Bitworld Centre and CryptoWorld Company Limited – in the recent past years have paraded themselves as investment houses by asking the world to invest in cryptocurrencies with various degrees of mouth-watering packages. These packages were very attractive, serving as some sort of magnetic charm that pulled lots of people, especially young Ghanaians, into investing in these companies. Were these people greedy? Perhaps not. The young Ghanaian was trying to let his/her meagre funds work for him/her so as to break the cycle of hardship and poverty that they might have been in. Moreover, these folks might have lost trust in our financial services’ regulatory bodies due to the series of unfortunate outcomes from operations of some financial institutions.

Access to cryptocurrencies

The steps in getting a cryptocurrency such as a bitcoin were not very difficult. One needed to download a bitpay app and go through the registration process, after which signing-up with a Bitcoin merchant becomes possible. Monies could then be transferred from mobile money wallets to purchase bitcoins from a merchant. The bitcoin was then stored in a blockchain account and/or blockchain community as a decentralised virtual currency. Investment products could then be bought using the blockchain account. All other cryptocurrencies could later be acquired through the blockchain account.

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BitWorld Company (BWC)

‘‘BWC is the most ambitious life project of this century, and it is for born leaders like you and we have already proven it. We proved we did not come to play. We are present in more than 80 countries worldwide…the best deal on the market and it’s for you. You are a leader. You are a Bitworld Centre,’’ (Bitworldinvestment). BitWorld was a company formed by a team of professional traders with expertise in sports and cryptocurriencies exchange market. It started on February 26, 2018 with its headquarters in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The board members had over 20 years experience (Bitworldinvestment).

BWC was giving young people the chance to invest with and leverage on its expertise to earn as they (young people) sleep. BWC’s favourite quote was ‘‘everyone is business-minded until it’s time to be-open minded about business’’ (bitworldinvestment). 300% Return on Investment (ROI) was the rate and Bitworld offered investors two source of income, through investment and referrals.

Earnings through referrals

Members or investors could use their networking skills to earn from bitworld through: direct referral – 15%, indirect referral – 5%, 3rd-8th Levels-1.25%; monthly residual income; career rewards; binary bonus and 50% matching bonus of investors’ team work. Incentives included: golden watch (10,000pts); apple watch+iphone 7 (20,000pts); sports motocycle (40,000pts); 4-day international trip to Spain (100,000pts); a corolla car (250,000pts); a mercedes car (500,000pts); and a Posche sports car (above 500,000pts).

Investment products

Level Activation Fee Daily payout Mnly  Payout Points Duration
  $ $ $   Days
Partner 35 0.625 18.75 5 120
Basic 60 1.25 37.5 10 120
Bronze 110 2.50 75 20 120
Silver 260 6.25 187.5 50 120
Client Gold 510 12.5 375 100 120
Premium 1,010 25 750 200 120
Black 2,010 50 1,500 400 120
Black II 6,410 160 4,800 1,000 120
Black III 12,800 320 9,600 10,000 120

Source: http://bitworldinvestment (currently not traceable)

Crypto World Company Limited (CWC)

‘‘CWC is a company formed by a team of professional traders with expertise in one of the largest market financial resources. Our focus is to provide high profit marketplace to everyone’’ (quote from CWC at previously existing website). It was incorporated on July 17, 2018 and offered 400% Return on Investment (previous website). According to the company:

Crypto World Company provides the best platform to grow your crypto assets in multiple times… grow your financial status. This the right time to allow yourself to work with the business that is changing the lives of thousands of people in a simple, fast and uncomplicated way (CWC previous website).

Investment Packages

Level Activation Fee Daily payout Mnly  Payout Points Duration
  $ $ $   Days
Starter 30 0.48 14.40 5 120
Bronze 50 0.96 28.80 10 120
Silver 90 1.92 57.60 20 120
Gold 210 4.80 144 50 120
Diamond 410           9.60 288 100 120
Platinum 810 19.20 576 200 120
Titanium 1,610 38.40 1,152 400 120
Crystal 5,130 122.88 3,686.40        1,280 120
Master 10,250 245.76 7,372.80        2,560 120
Champion 20,490 491.52 14,745.60        5,120  
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Source: CWC website (currently not traceable)

End Results

Surveys from various WhatsApp groups have indicated that lots of young Ghanaians lost their monies (Bitcoin Exchange Guide, 2018) in various quantities ranging from US$30 upward. At the time of this write-up (December, 2018), I could count over 270 investors on a few cryptocurrency platforms after many of these investors had exited, carrying their burdens of lost investments and having no ‘person’ to complain to; because nobody forced them to invest their funds with those companies.

Their hopes had been dashed, their funds gone, their proposed contribution to GDP vaporised; economic resource left the country to foreign lands and we were all back to square one. Though I am not in a position to quantify the total resources that the nation lost, Ghana still lost something even if it was just a few dollars – as little drops of water make a mighty ocean (African Proverb).

What is my point? Will the financial institutions’ regulatory bodies restore trust in our financial institutions to give some level of assurance so young Ghanaian forego these foreign companies who parade our market with mouth-watering but non-existent packages, and rather invest their meagre resources within the country?

Will the financial institutions’ regulatory bodies organise a series of workshops and orientations for young Ghanaians who are ambitious to be ‘Rich Dads’ by making their investments work for them? Will government institute measures to help broaden the investment mindset of the young Ghanaian in order to curtail the proliferation of resources purloined from the country through various investment schemes such as the ones enumerated above?

I believe that proper orientation and education by the Ministry of Finance to Ghanaian youth, who want to better their lot by making their investments work for them, will help mould the next generation of wealthy individuals in the country – and that will have multiple effects on our economy.

The writer is a PhD Student, Adventist University of the Philippines.

Kuffourfo2000@gmail.com

 

References

 

BEG News Team (2018). Crypto World Company Vanishes, Website Goes Offline In Apparent Scam. Retrieved from https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/crypto-world-company-vanishes-website-goes-offline-in-apparent-scam/

Higgins, S. (2017, December 29). From $900 to $20,000: Bitcoin’s historic 2017 price run revisited. Retrieved from https://www.coindesk.com/900-20000-bitcoins-historic-2017-price-run-revisited

Kiyosaki, R.T. & Lechter, S.L. (1997). Rich dad and Poor Dad. New York. Warner Books, Inc.

Peprah, W. K., Afriyie, A. O., Abandoh-Sam, J. A., & Afriyie, E. O. (2018). Dollarization 2.0 a Cryptocurrency: Impact on Traditional Banks and Fiat Currency. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 8(6), 341–349. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/ 10.6007/ IJARBSS/v8-i6/4213

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