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To avoid “enforcement action,” South Africa is cautioning all cryptocurrency exchanges to obtain licenses by November 2023.

Should cryptocurrency exchanges persist in operating without a license beyond the deadline, the regulatory body is equipped to implement “enforcement action.” This action may involve the imposition of fines or the closure of non-compliant businesses.

By the end of 2023, all cryptocurrency exchanges operating in South Africa will need to obtain a license, according to the country’s financial regulatory body.

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) commissioner, Unathi Kamlana, stated that since the organization’s recent founding, about 20 licensing applications have been filed. Additionally, Kamlana anticipates receiving more submissions before to the deadline of November 30, 2023.

Kamlana added that the regulator is ready to take “enforcement action” if cryptocurrency exchanges operate over the deadline without getting a license. This action may involve the imposition of fines or the closure of non-compliant businesses.

Kamlana underlined the significance of giving time to assess the efficacy of these measures, even as she acknowledged that the regulatory measures are essential to safeguard consumers. In addition, he pledged that the industry would continue to engage with the government to implement and improve the regulatory framework as needed.

South Africa is the first nation on the African continent to require the acquisition of licenses for digital asset exchanges, thanks to the implementation of this program.

Luno, owned by Digital Currency Group
VALR, backed by Pantera Capital
Additionally, global platforms like Binance that operate within South Africa will also be required to obtain licenses as per the new regulatory requirements

According to an official from the Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSCA), anyone providing financial services pertaining to digital assets—apart from certain scenarios like cryptocurrency miners and NFT service providers—must acquire authorization.
In addition to actively participating in partnerships with a “inter-governmental fintech working group,” the FSCA has been actively involved in regulating the cryptocurrency and fintech industries. Important financial industry regulators and policymakers, such as the National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), are represented in this working group.

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