South Africa to license 60 crypto exchanges in regulatory milestone

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South Africa is set to become one of the first countries in Africa to mandate licenses for crypto exchanges. 

Approximately 60 digital asset platforms are expected to receive their permits by the end of this month, ensuring they operate within regulatory guidelines. In an interview with Bloomberg, the Commission of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) revealed this today. 

FSCA has issued a deadline of November 30 for exchanges to submit their licensing applications. Failure to comply could result in regulatory sanctions. The call for applications saw over 300 crypto-asset providers stepping forward to seek official approval.

In a strategic move, the FSCA has decided to incorporate crypto exchanges within the scope of the existing Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act. This decision means crypto platforms will be evaluated based on transparency, ethical conduct, competency, and operational ability, aligning with the FAIS Act’s stringent ‘fit-and-proper’ requirements.

The regulatory milestone coincides with a significant surge in Bitcoin’s value, reaching a historic peak of $73,664. Bitcoin’s rise reflects a trend of growing investment and interest in cryptocurrencies, further emphasized by unprecedented investments in spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Under the new regulatory framework, consumers engaging with crypto exchanges will access enhanced protections and avenues for previously unavailable recourse. The FSCA’s authority to enforce the FAIS Act’s standards ensures a safer environment for operators and consumers in the digital asset space.

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