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South Africa grants regulatory nod to 59 crypto firms

South Africa's Financial Sector Conduct Authority has reportedly granted crypto asset service provider licenses to 59 crypto firms as of March 12, 2024.

South Africa grants regulatory nod to 59 crypto firms
FSCA, South Africa's crypto regulator

South Africa's Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) reportedly granted crypto asset service provider (CASP) licenses to 59 crypto firms as of March 12, 2024. This information is based on media reports citing an FSCA representative. The FSCA has not yet responded to our request for comments.

Reports suggest that the approved firms offer a variety of services, including advisory services, exchanges, payment gateways, conversions between crypto and traditional currencies (fiat), crypto arbitrage, tokenization, index-based products, and digital wallet services.

While 105 companies initially applied for the CASP license, only 50 applications reached the licensing committee last December, with 20 companies withdrawing their applications. "Any entity that did not apply for a license and continues activities will be investigated and there will be consequences for such actions," says Felicity Mabaso, the divisional executive for licensing at the FSCA.

In October 2022, South Africa's Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) took a significant step towards regulating the cryptocurrency industry. Recognizing the potential risks posed by crypto assets, the FSCA classified them as financial products. This move aimed to achieve a two-fold objective: protecting financial consumers from the inherent uncertainties of the crypto market and preventing illegal activities like money laundering and financing of terrorism through increased oversight.

To ensure compliance with these new regulations, all crypto firms operating within the country were mandated to submit license applications to the FSCA by November 2023. "By introducing licensing, the government is pushing for proper regulation which serves the commercial interests of all parties in the ecosystem positively," according to Cedric Jeannot, CEO of Be Mobile Africa.

Related Article: What you need to know about advertising crypto in South Africa

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