According to Bloomberg, South Africa has mandated that all crypto exchanges operating within its borders must secure licenses by the end of the year. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), the country’s financial regulator, has already received approximately 20 applications since the licensing process was initiated a few weeks ago.
FSCA Commissioner Unathi Kamlana has warned that the regulator will take enforcement action against firms that continue to operate without a license beyond the November 30 deadline. This could result in these firms being shut down or fined. Kamlana explained that the regulatory framework was introduced due to the potential harm that financial customers could face when using crypto products.
South Africa, Africa’s most developed economy, is the first country on the continent to require digital asset exchanges to secure licenses. This move affects several major trading venues that originated from South Africa, including Luno, owned by Digital Currency Group, and Pantera-backed VALR. Global platforms such as Binance that operate in the country will also need to secure licenses.
The trend of intensifying regulations is not confined to South Africa alone. Yesterday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that crypto service providers in Singapore are required to place customer assets into a statutory trust by the end of the year for secure storage. This action underscores a global shift towards more stringent regulation in the cryptocurrency sector.