59 crypto firms obtain licences in South Africa

March 15, 2024
6 min read

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Xin chào,

Victoria from Techpoint here,

Here's what I've got for you today:

  • 59 crypto firms obtain licences in South Africa
  • Africa suffers Internet disruptions
  • Two big shots join Flutterwave 
  • Youverify’s $2.5m pre-Series A

59 crypto firms obtain licences in South Africa


On Tuesday, South Africa's Financial Sector Conduct Authority gave the nod to 59 cryptocurrency companies to operate. 

The financial institutions market conduct regulator received 355 applications, approved 59, and is still considering 262 others.

These licenced companies deal with several aspects of cryptocurrency, including payments processing, exchange management, advisory services, and converting fiat to cryptocurrency.

The FSCA is on the trail of anyone operating cryptocurrency operations without a licence. Felicity Mabaso, one of its big shots, made it clear there'll be consequences.

In November 2018, the major players — South African Reserve Bank (SARB), FSCA, South African Revenue Services (SARS), and Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) — established the Crypto Assets Regulatory Working Group. 

In July 2021, it released a position paper with some solid recommendations on how to handle cryptocurrency. 

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Then, in August 2022, the SARB issued guidelines for banks dealing with cryptocurrency clients, essentially telling them not to slam the door in their faces. 

And, just last October, the FSCA officially classified crypto assets as financial products, putting them under its watchful eye. It began issuing licences in June 2023, and here we are now, 59 firms getting the thumbs up!

Africa suffers Internet disruptions

undersea cables

If you're in Africa, especially West Africa, you've probably noticed that the Internet has been a mess lately.

How did I know? NetBlocks, the guys who keep tabs on Internet activity, confirmed that West Africa's feeling the heat from these disruptions. 

Now, the finger-pointing game is on. Some speculate that Houthi rebels are responsible for the cable damage, but this has yet to be confirmed. Meanwhile, service providers are scrambling to fix things, but there is no clear timeline for when everything will return to normal.

Ghana's Chamber of Telecommunications spilled the beans, saying it’s dealing with outages on multiple submarine cables. That disrupts mobile networks and Internet services, leaving people with poor connections.

Nigeria's not spared either. Banks are taking a hit, with some customers unable to do transactions through apps or USSD codes. I felt it firsthand yesterday when I couldn't use my bank's USSD code to do any transactions. I had to wait until one of my folks got home in the evening before I could eat. I hope I don't go through the same “struggle” today.

In Ivory Coast, Orange CI and MTN, the big Internet providers, are also crying about outages.

However, this isn't the first rodeo with undersea cables acting up. Remember 2020? MTN was pointing fingers at undersea cables for causing headaches in West Africa. 

In 2018, the African Coast to Europe (ACE) submarine cable failed, bringing ten West African countries offline for two days.

Former CBN Director joins Flutterwave board

Tosin Faniro-Dada and Dipo Fatokun

Two weeks after appointing the first independent, non-executive board member, Flutterwave made another move in its boardroom. It’s brought in two heavy hitters to help steer the ship.

First off, the fintech has appointed Dipo Fatokun, a former CBN Director, as its new Chairman. 

He has over 30 years of banking and finance experience in the public and private sectors. As a Director at the CBN, he oversaw projects such as the Cashless Nigeria Initiative and the Bank Verification Number. He also automated the Central Bank's foreign currency payments. 

What’s expected of him? He’ll bring his knowledge to Flutterwave to help the unicorn meet the highest regulatory, compliance, and governance standards. 

Tosin Faniro-Dada, an independent, non-executive director at Flutterwave, is the second newcomer to the board. 

Having worked in corporate banking, investment management, and finance for over 17 years, she is well-known in the tech industry. She began auditing funds at PwC in Boston and is now a Partner at Breega, a VC fund in Europe and Africa. 

What’s expected of her? Faniro-Dada’s expertise and passion will help Flutterwave continue to be a game changer for Nigerian startups. 

And get this: Flutterwave has been making big moves recently, hiring six new executives from companies like Cash App, Paypal, and Western Union just three months ago.

Youverify’s $2.5m pre-Series A


Youverify, a Nigerian ID company, announced its $2.5 million pre-Series A investment from Elm, a Saudi Arabian company that deals with digital solutions. 

Elm and Youverify are also teaming up to make AML compliance easier and expand the latter’s reach.

Gbenga Odegbami (CEO) launched the company in 2018 to help businesses with ID verification and anti-money laundering solutions.

Interestingly, Youverify does more than just scan IDs. It uses mathematical models and AI algorithms to determine if someone is a financial risk, and it operates in several industries, including gaming and healthcare.

The startup isn’t alone in this field; other companies such as Smile Identity, Dojah, and Identitypass are doing similar things.

How far has Youverify come? It now covers 145 places in 48 countries for business checks and 46 countries for individual checks. It says it helps businesses in 12 countries and processes millions of applications per month. 

The company asserts it currently serves commercial clients in 12 countries, processes 4 million applications monthly for over 3,500 different businesses, and has 800 active clients! 

That represents a significant increase from the 400 businesses and 5 million applications received annually in 2022. Besides, its ID verification capacity has increased from 400 million to 5 billion people! It now serves 600 million businesses across industries, including gaming, travel, healthcare, and telecommunications. 

What I'm reading and watching  


  • Are you a female interested in starting a career in tech? Monniepoint has an internship opportunity for you. Check out available roles here.
  • Seedstars has announced  INFUSE 2024, a global invitation for innovative applications aimed at fortifying health systems against climate threats and improving immunisation delivery. Apply here.
  • Consensys is hiring a Software Engineer. Apply here.
  • Nethermind is looking for a product manager. Apply here.
  • Application for the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) Class of 2025 is now open. Check out the one-year, fully sponsored, graduate-level programme in tech entrepreneurship here before March 18, 2023.
  • Do you live in Nigeria and work with a local or foreign company? Whether it's remotely, on-site, hybrid, full-time, part-time or as a freelancer, @TheIntelpoint is trying to understand the Nigerian workspace: how you work, and toxicity in the workspace among others. Please, fill out the questionnaire here.
  • Explore this website to find multiple job opportunities in Data that align with your preferences.
  • If you are a software engineer, creative designer, product manager, design researcher, or a techie looking for an internship role, please, check out this website.

Have a fun weekend!

Victoria Fakiya for Techpoint Africa.

She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.
She's autistic and interested in mental health and how technology can help Africans with mental disorders. Find her on Twitter @latoria_ria.

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