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Celebrities fuelling African investment in crypto scams

JOHANNESBURG – FRAUDSTERS and scammers are making the most of the increasing popularity of crypto currency in the continent.

Celebrities on social media are complicit in the trend.

Anna Collard, Senior Vice President of Content Strategy and Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa, said it is critical that there be more awareness around the risks of crypto currencies, so people gain a deeper understanding of the dangers and the scams within the ecosystem.

“The reliance of Africans on social media to make informed choices around investments into cryptocurrency or NFT (non-fungible tokens) projects calls for tighter regulation of influencers,” she said.

Collard noted that celebrities were being used to promote crypto scams and to drive widespread adoption in Africa, as evidenced by recent court cases against Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather.

“This, when coupled with increased interest and adoption in Africa, is making people vulnerable targets,” she added.

To gain a richer understanding of the cryptocurrency space and the risks facing users, KnowBe4 polled 800 adults in Mauritius, Botswana, South Africa and Kenya.

The survey found that the majority of respondents (81 percent) knew what crypto currency was with 52 percent having already invested into it.

A small percentage (4 percent) did not know what it was, and 27 percent had not tried investing into it.

For most, the primary goal for their investment was long-term profit (69 percent) followed by quick profit (39 percent).

Interestingly, 18 percent opted into crypto currency because they did not want to be tied to local banks and 16 percent wanted to benefit from next-generation trading and transactions.

According to the International Monetary Fund, the crypto market is showing rapid growth, with transactions hitting US$20 billion a month as of 2021.

– CAJ News

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