In total, over 300 industry firms have applied for work permits

South Africa’s regulator will license 60 crypto companies by the end of March

15.03.2024 - 12:53

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2 min

What’s new? South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is set to issue operating licenses to 60 cryptocurrency platforms by the end of this month. The regulator encouraged industry companies to apply by November 30 last year to avoid enforcement action, after which more than 300 companies applied for permits.

Material by Bloomberg

What else is known? The FSCA decided not to develop a separate regulatory framework to regulate digital asset platform operators; they will be supervised under the existing Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act. The commission equated cryptocurrencies with financial products, extending the law to them, back in October 2022.

However, in the new application, officials allowed that as oversight progresses, regulatory gaps may be identified that FAIS is unable to address.

At the same time, regulating crypto exchanges under FAIS would allow customers to pursue remedies and regulators to take enforcement action.

The commission stressed that they continue to process applications and eventually more companies will receive licenses, but this will be done in stages.

South Africa is already home to some of the continent’s largest exchanges, such as Luno, owned by Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group (DCG) conglomerate, and VALR, backed by hedge fund Pantera Capital. Global exchanges including Binance are also available in the country.

Earlier, Hong Kong’s regulator threatened enforcement action against crypto exchange Bybit for operating without a local license, while fintech company Banxa was the first to receive a crypto license in the UK in 2024.

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