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South Africa Announces Plans to Grant Licenses to 60 Crypto Platforms

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By Erika John - - 5 Mins Read
South African flag; Physical Bitcoins
Featured | Shutterstock

South Africa has taken the initiative to strengthen its cryptocurrency regulation, as stated in a recent Bloomberg report.

The country plans to issue licenses to nearly 60 cryptocurrency platforms by the end of March.

The move will enhance the regulatory framework and secure crypto transactions. It marks a step towards clarifying and overseeing the crypto industry within the nation's borders.

Deadline Looms for Exchanges

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FCSA) has set a firm deadline for cryptocurrency exchanges to apply for licenses, with the cutoff date for the 30th of November.

In a statement to Bloomberg, FCSA Commissioner Unathi Kamlana emphasized the agency's commitment to processing licensing applications in a timely manner despite the high volume of requests.

Kamlana further explained that companies facing rejection can seek reconsideration under existing legislation.

The FCSA Commissioner also outlined FCSA's phased licensing approach to effectively manage application inflow while streamlining the procedure.

“We are processing those licensing applications, and we are doing so in a phased manner given the numbers,” Kamlana explained.

Furthermore, Kamlana emphasized the possibility of modifying regulations in order to address any potential gaps in the current framework, demonstrating FCSA's proactive approach to regulating cryptocurrencies within its jurisdiction.

Aerial view of Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town, South Africa | Michael/Shutterstock

South Africa's current push for crypto licensing builds upon prior initiatives to formalize digital asset status within the country's economy.

In 2022, South Africa announced its intention to classify crypto as a financial product, which is seen as a commitment to integrating digital currencies into mainstream economic systems.

Notably, some of the country’s popular crypto trading platforms, such as Luno and VALR, trace their roots back to South Africa, showing the nation's pivot role in the African crypto ecosystem.

Integration with Existing Regulatory Frameworks

Rather than establishing a separate regulatory framework for crypto operators, South Africa has incorporated these entities under existing financial regulations.

The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act will serve as the cornerstone for overseeing crypto firms, focusing on upholding standards of honesty, integrity, competency, and overall financial service provision.

So, this approach clearly states  South Africa's commitment to fostering a regulatory environment that balances innovation with investor protection.

Following Botswana Lead

South Africa is following Botswana's lead in pursuing crypto licensing.

Yellow Card, the first African cryptocurrency exchange to receive a license in 2022, set a precedent for Botswana's proactive stance on the matter.

Now, South Africa is looking to take a page from its neighbor's book and establish a robust regulatory framework to govern crypto operations.

South Africa aims to become a regional leader in crypto regulation by embracing licensing initiatives, fostering investor confidence, and driving high returns in the digital asset market.

Final Thought 

South Africa's plans to grant licenses to crypto platforms represent a pivotal moment in regulatory clarity and oversight in the cryptocurrency sector. With deadlines looming and regulatory frameworks taking shape, stakeholders eagerly anticipate the dawn of a new era in South Africa's relationship with cryptocurrency.