Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Rebuffed cryptocurrency company Entapay claims support from RCAF

Rebuffed cryptocurrency company Entapay claims support from RCAF

A walk-in cryptocurrency exchange in Seoul, South Korea, on September 28. A company which was recently called out for claiming to launch a ‘Cambodia national cryptocurrency’ has said it received support from the Kingdom’s military. Jean Chung/The New York Times
A walk-in cryptocurrency exchange in Seoul, South Korea, on September 28. A company which was recently called out for claiming to launch a ‘Cambodia national cryptocurrency’ has said it received support from the Kingdom’s military. Jean Chung/The New York Times

Rebuffed cryptocurrency company Entapay claims support from RCAF

The strange saga of cryptocurrency company Entapay falsely claiming the endorsement of the Cambodian government continued yesterday when the firm issued a press release alleging that it had the support of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) – a claim denied by military officials.

Entapay’s press release says that company officials met a “Benxian Xing”, who they said was a deputy commander of RCAF and head of the Royal Gendarmerie. The release claimed the meeting “signifies the Cambodia Blockchain Industry Development Association and Entapay have gained the Support of the Cambodian Military”.

No Cambodia general named Benxian Xing appears to exist, but on the “Acknowledgements” section of Entapay’s website, there is a picture of Hing Bun Heang displayed above that name. Bun Heang is the deputy commander of RCAF and head of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s personal Bodyguard Unit.

Contacted yesterday, Bun Heang cut off a reporter’s questions to ask, “You believe the company?” He went on to say he had a good name that some people use for bad reasons before hanging up the phone.

Bun Heang does appear in a photograph attached to Entapay’s press release, standing next to two people identified as representatives from the company and the blockchain association.

Chhum Socheat, a spokesman for the Defence Ministry, told The Post that he had not heard of reports of any high-ranking RCAF officers officially meeting with a Chinese company.

When asked if RCAF supported the company, Socheat said, “I don’t believe [the claim] is true. I don’t think [RCAF] shows support on this at all.”

It is not the first time Entapay has made claims that were later disputed by government officials. Earlier this month, the company issued a release claiming to be the national cryptocurrency of Cambodia, which was picked up by international media outlets.

Those claims were later denied by officials from the National Bank of Cambodia, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, all of whom said they had not heard of the company and that there were no plans to develop a national cryptocurrency.

Undeterred, the company held an “Asean-Blockchain Summit” at Phnom Penh’s luxury Sokha Hotel on March 7, featuring Deputy Prime Minister Men Sam An as the keynote speaker.

Apart from Sam An’s five-minute opening remarks, the event was held entirely in Mandarin with no Khmer or English translations available.

A spokesman from Sam An’s office said that the minister encouraged the company to follow relevant laws and said it was not abnormal for her to speak at such an event.

Entapay also lists a picture of Sam An next to Bun Heang in the “Acknowledgements” section of their website.

Some of the hundreds of attendees who had travelled from China to the summit expressed confusion about the company, and many told The Post that they were not interested in blockchain or cryptocurrency at all.

Representatives from Entapay could not be reached yesterday.

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