Business

Undercover Billionaires Namibia takes a nosedive

UNDERCOVER Billionaires Namibia, which was registered to facilitate the dreams of Namibians who wished to dive into the booming business of bitcoin, has died before it could even take off.

Barely two weeks after the Bitcoin seminar where South African president of Undercover Billionaires International Louis JR Tshakoane spoke about the business, the partnership with his Namibian facilitator of the business, Michael Amushelelo, has gone sour.

A few days after the seminar, which took place at Gateway Centre, and the subsequent registration of the company and its bank account in Namibia by Amushelelo, the partnership has been dissolved.

After the seminar, Tshakoane sent participants a Youtube video in which he expressed concern over the way his Namibian facilitator Amushelelo of Amushe Pty Ltd was carrying out business.

Amushelelo was to be the main person to service Namibian clients for Tshakoane.

While the seminar went as planned, things quickly changed, with Tshakoane claiming that although instructions went out for Amushelelo to register the company in Namibia and get things off the ground, “he did so very quickly without consulting me thoroughly, as in he opened the accounts in his name and registered the company in his name without consulting me on whether this was the best thing to do.”

He later told The Namibian that “Michael registered the company and opened bank accounts too quickly in respect to the fact that he didn’t consult me regarding a share certificate. He registered the company 100% in his name. He also opened the bank account as the sole signatory. I was very surprised by that; which means legally he had opened Undercover Billionaires Namibia as his company. This is strange because Undercover Billionaires is my brand internationally.” Amushelelo, however, denied the claims, saying the two had agreed on how the business was to be registered in Namibia.

The two have since parted ways, with Amushelelo allegedly making arrangements for those who had already invested to receive refunds. After the second seminar, at least 13 people made investments ranging from the minimum allowable amount of N$2 000 to N$13 000.

While Tshakoane blames Amushelelo for things going awry, the Namibian entrepreneur tells a different tale. He accuses the South African of allowing people to invest without entering into a valid legal contract with them. The first seminar took place on 27 May, and on 3 June, Amushelelo and Tshakoane teamed up for the second one. “The first seminar was successful, but people started complaining about paying into a South African account”, says Amushelelo. He adds that “initially, people started paying into the account before receiving the contracts.” He was, however, unable to say when exactly he got hold of the contract while Tshakoane insists that each investor signed a contract.

Ever since, a war of words has ensued between the two, with Tshakoane bashing Amushelelo in a voice note that has been making the rounds on WhatsApp.

What is Bitcoin?

According to investopedia.com, cryptocurrency is “a digital or virtual currency that uses cryptography for security.” Unlike conventional currency, cryptocurrency is harder to counterfeit because of this security feature. A defining feature of a cryptocurrency, and arguably its most endearing allure, is its organic nature; it is not issued by any central banking authority, but is rather a peer to peer system.

“Bitcoin is the fastest-growing currency in the world. In the last two years, it has grown by over 1000%. If you invested 100 USD in 2010, you would have bitcoins worth 73 million dollars today”, Tshakoane says.

No central authority issues this currency, and it therefore does not fall prey to government interference or manipulation. Since the first cryptocurrency was launched in 2009 (bitcoin), the world has seen the emergence of over 10 million others like Litecoin, Namecoin and PPCoin.

“There are currently not many companies providing this as a service in Namibia, which is why I showed great desire to launch in Namibia. Also, I had overwhelming requests by the public when they saw my lifestyle on Vuzu Rich Kids as a result of my profits from bitcoin, “ Tshakoane says.

He assured guests at the second bitcoin seminar that as they get into an agreement with Undercover Millionaire, they essentially enter into a loan agreement which acts as surety if anything that they were promised does not materialise. He also promised that monthly profits would be paid out.

Contacted for comment, Kazembire Zemburuka, deputy director of corporate communications at the the Bank of Namibia, confirmed that the central bank does not regulate crypto currencies nor the trading thereof since crypto currencies are not recognised as legal tender in Namibia.

He warned that those who do trade in this often risky currency will be doing so at their own risk.

“Trading of crypto currencies in Namibia is currently not regulated, and individuals who engage in such trading would be doing so at their own risk, and should therefore exercise extreme caution.”

The central bank is, however, working on a formal position on crypto currencies, especially given the risks they carry.

“The Bank of Namibia is currently in the process of establishing a formal position on developments such as crypto currencies and assessing the associated risks such as money laundering, terrorism financing as well as risks of the potential misuse of such currencies, and the disruption it could cause to the overall financial system, amongst others,” said Zemburuka.

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