Church pastor admits investing in Cryptocurrency

A Samoan church pastor who invested in Cryptocurrency last year remains unfazed about his investment, and has slammed the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) for warning the public against investing.

Pastor Samoa Uaoi of Peace Chapel Christian Fellowship admitted during an interview yesterday with the Samoa Observer that he invested in One Coin, and knows the risks associated with such an investment.

He said he was introduced to it by an “Italian friend” in Australia and he joined last year, but refused to disclose how much he has invested.

"Yes, to be honest I am involved in cryptocurrency activity, I don’t need to tell you how much I invested. But I invested in it, I invested last year,” he said.

“I’m not even in a hurry to get money back from that. I’m not relying on that, I still live my life thinking beyond, I still have money to lean on and I’m not even concerned about it. Even the amount invested, I’m not really concerned about it.”

The decision to invest in One Coin was purely business, he added, and that is how he is treating it. 

"As far as I am concerned, I didn’t even pursue or get deeply involved. At this stage there are people who deeply involved and are treating it as a business, but me it’s for an investment, that’s it.  We have done nothing about it, I’ve just invested in it and that’s it so I know nothing about it at this stage." 

The CBS warned last year of the dangers of investing in cryptocurrency, and last month released another statement cautioning people against promoting what it described as “virtual currency”. 

But Pastor Samoa criticised the statements issued by the CBS, saying the bank and the Government had no business telling him what to do with his money. 

"When the Government warns us about cryptocurrency, what’s their business? If I lose it they’ll never give me back my money, if I lose why go to the Central Bank, it’s my choice to invest, and if I lose it that’s it. I went in there and I knew it’s risky," he said. 

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"So for the Central Bank to try and warn the people, I was born and lived in Samoa where the Government will come and help you find your money? Never, never. They continue to write articles and I completely detest it because they will never help me find my money if I lose it." 

Pastor Samoa said similar to other forms of investment, there are always risks and he has experienced that with the investments he made in the Unit Trust of Samoa (UTOS).

"I put some money there (bank), I put some money in UTOS and I lost it, they took my money rather than giving anything to me. I thought well that’s the risk of investment, even our own UTOS they took our money, we lost the money when we put it there for over four-six months."

The risks associated with investing in such a scheme were known according to the pastor.

"I saw when they lay it to me, I said why not, if I lose, I lose. I never went in thinking this will make a millionaire or whatever. If I lose, I lose, money is money, if I lose to day I will gain tomorrow, no problem with me.

"Like anything else in the world, you can never guarantee that your full money will come back to you if you invest in a bank. That’s the reality, it doesn’t matter where you go and what you invest in, there’s no guarantee that you will get your full amount back. So one coin is just like that.”

"My belief and philosophy is I don’t build my life on money or anything. I use my money as a tool not a rock that you can rely on, not a solid thing; money should never be treated like that, so that’s my outlook. Well if I lose it, don’t worry about it. I will never be crying or sad about it because I treat life and things like that in a very different outlook.” 

He said there’s no 100 percent guarantee you'll get anything in return and the only thing that is 100 percent guaranteed is God. 

"You can’t trust your life on your wife, kids because they might die tomorrow, they may frustrate you, disappoint you, and money is like that. 

"I put it in there and I haven’t done anything about it. If it comes back then praise Lord, if it doesn’t praise the Lord too because that money never took anything from it. 

"I have never received anything from my investment. There are people who get money out of it by selling the crowd. I am not involved, am just an investor. I hear it takes year before you can take the money. Despite the negativity surrounding it, they are still hoping it will become a proper business."

Pastor Samoa said he invests his personal money and not church money. He said it is up to the people whether they want to invest in cryptocurrency or not. 

"I invested as a single person, so if it dies, it dies, if it lives, it lives, if I get something out of it, I will have something to spend on whatever I need, but if I don’t I will never even lose any sleep over it because I know we living in a world where we lose and we gain, there’s no guarantee in anything."

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