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On Monday 11 November, Independent Online published a story warning about Karatbars as a complex multi level marketing scheme. This was based on an official Press Release by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) released earlier that morning.

The official Press Release obtained by SA Crypto reads as follows:

FSCA warns the public against Karatbars International GmbH

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) would like to warn the public not to deal with an entity called Karatbars International GmbH. Karatbars International GmbH is not authorised in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act), to render any financial advice and intermediary services.

The FSCA was informed that Karatbars International GmbH has been offering investments to customers via WhatsApp. Karatbars International GmbH is based in Germany and is not authorised to render financial advice and intermediary services in South Africa.

The FSCA again reminds consumers who wish to conduct financial services with an institution or person to check beforehand with the FSCA on either the toll free number (0800 110 443) or on www.fsca.co.za as to whether or not such institution or person is authorised to render financial services and the type of services which they are registered to perform.

Enquiries to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority can be made to the following:
Email address: Communications@fsca.co.za
Telephone: 0800 203 722

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SA Crypto has repeatedly warned our community of the dangers of complex Pyramid Schemes such as Karatbars, and this official statement only serves to reinforce our scepticism of companies such as these. Such schemes are simply tarnishing the image of one of the world’s most revolutionary inventions in Bitcoin and its underlying technology. They are hindering the progress of blockchain and stateless digital assets such as Bitcoin, and must be called out at every turn.