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South Africa Approves 59 Operating Licences for Businesses in Africa’s First Crypto Regulatory Regime

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa has approved 59 operating licences for cryptocurrency businesses, an official has said according to a Reuters report.

The decision follows the FSCA’s classification of crypto assets as financial products in 2022 requiring regulatory oversight. This aims to protect consumers from the inherent risks associated with the crypto market, such as fraud and money laundering.

The regulation of these assets also grants explicit powers to the Reserve Bank of South Africa (RBSA) Financial Surveillance Department, enabling them to compel South African crypto asset trading platforms to report transactions involving crypto assets. The country is already considering amendments to its Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) Act to mandate reporting of all crypto transactions exceeding 49,999 South African Rand ($2,650).

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Speaking at a financial sector conference, Felicity Mabaso, a divisional executive at the FSCA, said the authority had received 355 licence applications, with 59 approved so far. About 262 applications are in progress. She also noted that authorized service providers will be subject to ongoing supervision after licensing. Additionally, investigations into people conducting crypto-related financial services without authorization will begin

The licensing process began in June 2023 with an initial deadline set for November 30, 2024.

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