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South Africa ready to issue Licence to Crypto Exchange platforms

South Africa’s financial regulator has begun issuing Crypto licenses , with exchange platform Luno and decentralized social investing marketplace Zignaly among the first batches of companies to receive approvals.

Luno shared that it received approval as a financial service provider under the country’s Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS). Luno PTY LTD now appears on the FSCA register of authorized entities.

Zignaly told CoinDesk that it received a Category 2 – Discretionary Financial Service Provider (FSP) license and appears on the FSCA registry as Merritt Administrators PTY LTD.

South Africa’s regulator began accepting licensing applications from Crypto firms in June 2023 after legislation was passed to bring Crypto into the scope of regulated financial activities in the country. The FSCA promises heavy fines for companies that try to operate without obtaining the proper approvals.

About 60 companies are expected to be approved by the regulator in the short term.

“This is a positive step for both the Cryptocurrency industry and South Africa. Compliance, safety and security for our customers have driven our growth since the beginning and will continue to be priorities as we expand our offering to introduce more features and products for financial institutions,” said Christo de Wit, Luno’s country manager for South Africa, in the statement.

Zignaly’s Category 2 license will allow the company to perform discretionary fund management, “where Zignaly is authorized to make investment decisions on behalf of investors, and most importantly – can act as a custodian of funds for its clients,” the company said in a press statement. “It’s essentially a full asset management license, comparable to what TradFi behemoths like Blackrock or Vanguard have.”

Zignaly said the license would also help it “avoid the likely extension” of decentralized Finance regulations. In 2022, the company signed a $50 million financing deal with a Luxembourg fund.

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