South Africa announces deadline for crypto exchange licenses
- Crypto exchanges operating without a license after 30 November could invite enforcement action.
- 9.44% of South Africa’s total population owned cryptocurrency.
South Africa has announced a deadline of 30 November for all crypto exchanges operating in the country to obtain licenses, as per a recent Bloomberg report.
FSCA commissioner Unathi Kamlana noted that the agency had received approximately 20 license applications since its recent opening and expected more before the deadline.
The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) is the financial regulator of South Africa. The FSCA has been active in crypto and FinTech laws, partnering with an inter-governmental FinTech working group, comprising significant financial sector authorities and policymakers, including the National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank.
Kamlana also added that if crypto exchanges continued to operate without obtaining a license after the deadline, the regulator expects to take “enforcement action.” This may include penalties or the closure of non-compliant firms.
The commissioner concluded by admitting that establishing a regulatory framework for crypto goods is a prudent strategy, given the potential for significant harm to financial clients.
He also underlined the need for more time to assess the impact of the measures. Kamlana promised the industry of continuous engagement to develop and implement required modifications.
South Africa tightens grip on crypto industry
With this move, South Africa becomes the first country in Africa to compel crypto asset exchanges to get licenses. This move comes as crypto authorities and lawmakers throughout the world tighten crypto rules.
The decision impacts many prominent South African trading platforms, including Digital Currency Group-owned Luno and Pantera Capital-backed VALR crypto exchange. Global platforms operating in the country, like Binance [BNB], will also need to get licenses.
As per TripleA, over 5.8 million people, 9.44% of South Africa’s total population, own cryptocurrency. A large number of South African cryptocurrency owners were in the 18-44 age group (83%).
Bitcoin [BTC] remained the popular choice for crypto owners in South Africa, with more than 79% of crypto owner respondents possessing the king coin.