BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN – Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam (AMBD) has denied claims that it endorsed products and services provided by a local Bitcoin seller.

In a statement issued Friday, AMBD said that the United Formula Company (UFC) has allegedly been making false representations to potential and existing clients that its products were approved by the country’s financial regulator.

The central bank said it has been receiving an increasing number of complaints from members of the public who have suffered losses from participating in unregulated financial investments.

According to its Facebook page, the United Formula Company converts and sells cryptocurrency, as well as mining units for Bitcoin and Litecoin.

AMBD said since January 10 the company had been placed on its ‘alert list‘ — a list of individuals, companies and websites that are neither authorised or approved under the relevant laws and regulations administered by AMBD, or whose activities raise a suspicion of illegal financial activity.

The central bank said:

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The public should exercise great caution when they come across what appears to be an investment opportunity that promises high returns with representations or assurances of negligible risks or even being risk free.

The public should also be wary of schemes that focus on attracting new clients to make investments. These are most likely to be financial scams or even Ponzi schemes that fall outside of AMBD’s regulatory protection.

Back in December, AMBD warned against the volatility of cryptocurrency markets and the security risks posed by cyber-thieves that have hacked their way into Bitcoin exchanges.

Cryptocurrencies are often traded anonymously using platforms unregulated by central banks, hence are susceptible to misuse and illegal activity.

Digital currency is not considered legal tender in Brunei and AMBD urged due diligence before dealing in cryptocurrency.

The body advised the public to only deal with persons or entities regulated by AMBD, to ensure only competent and qualified persons may provide financial services.

The list of persons and institutions licensed by AMBD can also be found on AMBD’s website; or on the AMBD app which can be downloaded from the AppStore or Google Playstore.