South Africa to licence 60 digital asset exchanges by month end

  • South Africa is poised to mandate licences for digital asset exchanges, making it one of the first countries on the continent to do so.
  • FSCA Commissioner Unathi Kamlana disclosed in a Bloomberg interview that over 300 crypto-asset providers sought authorisation, with licencing applications being processed gradually due to the substantial number received.
  • Under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, the FSCA will regulate cryptocurrency firms, emphasising honesty, integrity, competency, and consumer protection, aiming to address regulatory gaps and enforce obligations to safeguard consumers’ interests.

South Africa will become one of the first countries on the continent to require permission for digital asset exchanges to function when it grants licences to about 60 cryptocurrency companies by the end of the month.

Crypto providers seek authorisation

More than 300 crypto-asset providers requested authorisation, according to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), which offered exchanges until November 30 to apply for licences or face facing disciplinary action.

In a Bloomberg interview, FSCA Commissioner Unathi Kamlana stated, “ We are processing those licencing applications and we’re doing so in a phased kind of manner given the numbers.”

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The regulator will oversee the companies under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, which focuses on the honesty, integrity, competency, and ability of all financial services providers under its requirements, rather than developing a separate framework specifically for crypto operators.

FAIS act enhances consumer protections

The FAIS Act would provide consumers with resources and safeguards not available to them currently, and the regulator will have the authority to take enforcement action against any operators who violate any of the act’s obligations.

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Kamalana has stated that most gaps will be covered under the present law. “As we licence and supervise, we will discover that perhaps there are gaps that cannot be closed by the existing regulatory framework. And we might need to build on that as we discover what those are. ”

Sylvia-Shen

Sylvia Shen

Sylvia Shen, a news reporter at BTW media dedicated in Fintech and Blockchain. She graduated from University of California, Davis. Send tips to s.shen@btw.media.

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