Blockchain association disowns upcoming Kampala summit

Kwame Rugunda, chairperson of the Blockchain Association of Uganda. PHOTO/FILE

The Blockchain Association of Uganda has distanced itself from an upcoming block chain conference in Kampala, saying they are not sure about the authenticity of the organiser, Streakk.

The Kampala Blockchain Summit is scheduled for Tuesday January 17, at Sheraton Hotel under the theme ‘Unlocking the potential of your crypto. 

But according to the association chairperson, Kwame Rugunda, they cannot guarantee the safety of their members.

“Having preliminarily reviewed Streakk, our industry opinion is that Streakk presents numerous red flags, and those participating with them are doing so at their own risk. Therefore, the Blockchain Association of Uganda hereby distances itself from the Kampala Blockchain Summit,” Rugunda said in a statement issued on Friday.

“Our opinion is based on a preliminary review, and the Association is holding further technical consultations with Streakk. If these ongoing consultations persuade a change of opinion, we will communicate so to the public, until then however, this is the opinion of the Association. Those keen on further research should review their white paper, smart contract and token economics,” he added.

But one of the summit organisers, Mr Edwin Zziwa, accused the blockchain association of playing politics and being biased.

“How can they claim that they are not sure about the authenticity of Streakk yet they have not yet concluded the consultations?” he wondered.

“These are really unfounded claims [of authenticity]. We are transparent. Our company is deals with governments and strong institutions to grow the blockchain industry across the world. This is what we are coming to do in Uganda,” he added. 

According to the Streakk website, the company was founded by Suki Chen, who is described as passionate about blockchain and has assisted in launching five successful Blockchain projects and helped them raised over $600m.

But according to Ruganda, given the rising fraud in the blockchain innovation ecosystem in Uganda, it’s their duty to protect all users.

“The blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has attracted global interest, with several companies providing various innovative services, while others are masquerading as crypto businesses, yet in effect are using crypto rhetoric and marketing gimmicks to operate scams and defraud citizens. Such recent scams in Uganda have included OneCoin, Dunamis and D9 among others. More will continue to arise and so we urge Ugandans to remain vigilant, and always do their own research,” he added.

According to crypto data firm CoinGecko, there are more than 12,000 cryptocurrencies and 630 exchanges across the world.