The cryptocurrency market is growing at a steady pace in Africa, even though this crypto economy is relatively small when compared to the rest of the world. Crypto trading has been on the rise in the continent, with digital currencies worth $8 billion and $8.1 billion being received and sent between the period of July 2019 and June 2020. Some of the countries in the continent which use cryptos extensively are Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Morocco, Ghana and Egypt.
While this boom in the cryptocurrency market can act as a stimulus for the commerce industry of Africa, there are very real threats associated with crypto laundering as well. These threats could come in the form of organized and financial crimes, money laundering, crypto scams and crypto laundering. The most notable scam was conducted in South Africa in the year 2020, by Mirror Trading International. The company reportedly used a Ponzi scheme to cheat hundreds of thousands of people out of more than $588 million in Bitcoin. Another scam was conducted by a firm called Africrypt. The founders of this company ran off with almost $3.6 billion worth of investors’ money.
Crypto crimes like these usually take place when the scammers use hacking, ransomware, theft and scamming practices to steal cryptocurrencies or funds invested in these currencies. There are mainly two types of crypto crimes that have been reported in Africa, crypto scams and ransomware attacks. Thus, it has become important that the governments in Africa push the crypto service providers to mitigate the money laundering risks and implement the necessary regulations.