15 Apr

The Financial Services Commission of South Africa (FSCA) has granted licenses to 59 bitcoin establishments that want to cater to the local populace. Only 199 of the 493 license applications that the FSCA received were complete, according to reports, leaving 262 pending.

The FSCA's regulatory body set a deadline of November 30th for cryptocurrency exchanges and digital platforms to apply for permits or risk being targeted by law enforcement, citing the high volume of activity in the market.

Overview of the FSCA approval process

Due to the tremendous demand, the processing of FSCA applications has already been ongoing, with each step being completed continually. For monitoring and regulatory purposes, the FSCA will place the cryptocurrency industry under the FAIS system.

As evidenced by the strong measures implemented when customers are in danger, the regulations are crafted to encompass fundamental aspects of the cryptocurrency industry, such as consumer protection and regulation. The precise information about the approved businesses has not yet been made public, but these businesses include storage service providers and cryptocurrency platforms. As long as the aforementioned rules are followed, the regulatory body will keep an eye on bitcoin brokerage companies and payment processors. 

Increasing acceptance and popularity
Since 2021, South Africa has been debating cryptocurrency regulations in an effort to create the best possible framework for this sector. The FSCA published a paper in 2021 outlining how cryptocurrency assets will be handled via an ordered graph, step-by-step.

Although the cryptocurrency framework is expected to be finished by the end of 2022, cryptocurrencies have been acknowledged as financial assets rather than as a national currency by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

Taking responsibility for this classification criteria, the FSCA declares that digital assets will be handled like financial objects. The nation of South Africa tends to handle cryptocurrency more pragmatically as adoption increases in popularity.

Based on a 2017 survey, approximately 47% of South Africans reported having invested in cryptocurrencies or intending to do so. Over the course of two years, their country share of downloaded Google Bitcoin wallets has climbed by 100%. According to data from 2020, South Africa has the third-highest percentage of cryptocurrency ownership globally, with 13%, according to cryptocurrency exchange Luno.

Pioneers of the cryptocurrency space, like South Africa's businesses, are currently heavily engaged with this asset. Customers can now use cryptocurrencies to make purchases thanks to a payment infrastructure solution provided by Sitch, a South African-based company that was founded last year and enabled cryptocurrency payment ("Pay with Crypto"). 

April 2024, Cryptoniteuae

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