South African regulator may license 36 crypto companies in December

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South African regulator may license 36 crypto companies in December
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South Africa’s principal financial regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), reviewed 128 applications from crypto service asset providers (CASPs) but intends to discuss only 36 during its next meeting in December. 

The numbers were published on Nov. 30 by the South African news outlet My Broadband. According to the publication, the FSCA plans to review 36 licensees’ presentations at the Dec.12 Licensing Executive Committee meeting. A further 22 applications will be presented on Feb.13. The last 14 applications will have to wait until March 12.

The fate of all the remaining applications wasn’t specified by the Authority, which explained its evaluation method as the combined assessment of Know Your Customer onboarding, data protection, cyber risk management, conflict of interest management, complaints handling, and credit counterparty risk management.

The FSCA also published its “Crypto Assets Markets Study” for 2023 on the same day, Nov. 30. The study found that 60% of all traded crypto in South Africa are so-called “unbacked crypto assets,” which means any cryptocurrency besides stablecoins (26% of the market share) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs, 4% of the market share), and some types of centrally issued coins.

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Related: Kenyan lawmakers ask local Blockchain Association to come up with crypto bill

According to the survey, the average crypto asset provider in South Africa (46%) has an annual revenue of between 1 and 50 million South African rand ($53,000 to $2.7 million). And only 8% of all the CASPs take in more than 100 million rand ($5.4 million).

Source: The Crypto Assets Markets Study 2023

The highest monthly transaction value on the South African crypto market was recorded in November 2022, when it peaked at over 8 billion rand (around $427 million).

In July 2023, the FSCA warned that any CASP in the country should obtain a license by the end of the year. For any of them operating without a license after the deadline, the regulator intends to take “enforcement action,” which may involve fines or even closure.

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