President of Sierra Leone Julius Maada Bio reportedly claimed that the new infrastructure will allow financial institutions to verify identities and build credit histories, tech publication NFCW reported on Sept. 2.
The government of Sierra Leone plans to fully adopt a blockchain-enabled national identity system by the end of 2019.
United Nations involved
The new project, called the National Digital Identity Platform (NDIP), is a collaboration between the United Nations and San Francisco-based nonprofit Kiva, a key technology partner of Sierra Leone since September 2018.
According to the report, the NDIP is being deployed in two major stages. The first involved identities being digitized – and the second, due to be finished by the end of the year, involves creating non-duplicating, non-reusable and universally recognized National Identification Numbers.
Financial resilience and security
The president claimed that blockchain-enabled access to credit and financial services is expected to significantly improve the lives of citizens by making them more financially resilient. He said that the new national ID system “directly translates into citizens having improved access to affordable credit to invest in entrepreneurial endeavors.”
Bio emphasized the high security standards of the upcoming platform, stressing that data on every resident will be stored at the National Civil Registration Authority and protected with strict confidentiality in line with international guidelines and practices.
He also noted the platform’s ability to write new records for data modification as one of the major benefits of implementing blockchain tech.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, blockchain technology is set to become a multi-industry solution in Sierra Leone, where more than 85% of the population lack internet access and at least 75% are unbanked.
Shopin Founder Pleads Guilty to Orchestrating Fraudulent $42 Million ICO
The New York Attorney General (NYAG) Letitia James announced the conviction of Shopin founder Eran Eyal for orchestrating a fraudulent initial coin offering (ICO) following his guilty plea.
As the NYAG announced on Dec. 12, the former CEO of Shopin pleaded guilty to felony charges for running a fraudulent initial coin offering that raised more than $42 million between August 2017 and April 2018. Eyal also pleaded guilty to defrauding investors of $600,000 by misrepresenting the staff and clients of his previous startup, Springleap.
Quick turnaround in court
Yesterday, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Eyal for defrauding hundreds of investors in a scam ICO. According to the SEC, Eyal’s actions constituted an unregistered securities offering of Shopin Tokens. The SEC further claimed that Eyal also misappropriated investor funds to pay for personal expenses. Attorney General James commented on the conviction:
“My office won’t allow white collar criminals to get away with their schemes to defraud innocent victims, no matter how complex […] This one individual created company after company after company just to continue cheating investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Using fake product trials and nonexistent contracts with major retailers he was able to lure victims to invest in his technology schemes, including his very own cryptocurrency. We will use every available resource at our disposal to pursue all who attempt to abuse and manipulate the system, because no one is above the law.”
Despite the Attorney General’s tough talk, the court seems not to have proscribed any jail time. The court ordered Eyal to pay $125,000 in restitution and $475,000 in judgments to investors, and to surrender the remaining $450,000 in cryptocurrency to the AG’s Office. The Brooklyn resident is further required to step down as CEO of Shopin, and is banned from raising capital or serving as an officer in a business in New York for three years.
SEC seeks to reopen case against Bitcoin fraudster
Cointelegraph recently reported that the SEC has filed to reopen a case against Bitcoin (BTC) fraudster Renwick Haddow as he has not resolved the regulator’s claims for monetary relief against him. Last year, the SEC accused Haddow of defrauding Bitcoin investors for more than $37 million. The court found him guilty in June of 2019.