Katherine Atuhairi of Uganda Bitcoin Network says that the recent warning by the Bank of Uganda (BOU) asking Ugandans to stay away from Bitcoin and other digital currencies, and comparing Bitcoin with OneCoin, will only make Bitcoin popular in the East African nation.
Katherine, a crypto entrepreneur that some call the Ugandan Bitcoin Queen, believes such calls are an indication Bitcoin has been noticed and that the government feels threatened it has no control over the real cryptocurrency.
"I see the Bank of Uganda openly coming out as another opportunity to market the currencies. Human beings are naturally tempted to do what they are forbidden to do therefore I guess there will be more knowledge concerning the crypto market hence its popularity."
She, however, assured the crypto community in Uganda not to be afraid since their funds cannot be frozen or plundered by the state, thanks to the Blockchains extraordinary strength.
Heeding the warning
However, the founder of the Uganda Bitcoin Network was full of doubts if her compatriots will heed the warning from the Central Bank that maintains 8.9 percent inflation rate. She thinks it will only boost the size of the crypto community, as more people will start finding more about cryptocurrencies and its copious benefits Ugandans, and for that matter, Africans can reap.
"Maybe measures may be taken to close up the current company that has opened up in the suburbs of Kampala but people will go ahead to venture in the digital activities that are for sure."
Certainly, some Ugandans are aware of what Bitcoin and altcoins offer them, as compared to fiat. More so as Katherine pointed out, this is an opportunity for more people who have not heard about Bitcoin to find out more and join the community.
Damage to fintech
Silver Kayongo, an East African Legal and Banking Consultant is quoted as saying the move from the Ugandan Central bank is an adversary to Financial Technology in a country where 77 percent of the masses have no bank accounts.
Kathrine agrees with Kayondo in no uncertain terms:
"I see ventures closing up due to fear thus killing the desire for the local people to have any more concern for the growth of cryptocurrency in Uganda at large and therefore limiting the growth of financial technology and its start-ups within the country. I think the BOU’s aim to hinder the ongoing fintech growth is a major blow to the entire digital community around the world."
This pattern is barely new in this space as it has been witnessed in Russia, Kenya, Vietnam, Colombia, Argentina, and even India. Impressively, Bitcoin always prevails with the authorities making a turnabout.
The Ugandan Bitcoin Queen is calling on the entire digital currency community in Uganda and beyond to come together and start engaging the authorities, particularly the Bank of Uganda and key policymakers. She highlighted the need for an immediate Uganda Bitcoin conference to be convened.
"The crypto community ought to explain the advantages of cryptocurrencies and how they can work together with the banks to improve financial technology growth within the country," she unequivocally stated.
This is in the right direction since most of the time such directives emanates from misunderstandings and fear of change. The government of Uganda will do their people a good service by doing an excellent job of finding out what solutions cryptocurrency extends to the country.