Regulator confirms approved crypto asset providers for licensing in South Africa

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April 23, 2024
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2 min read
FSCA
  • South Africa's financial regulator, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), has confirmed and clarified the list of currently approved crypto service providers, stating that 75 institutions have been approved to operate as crypto asset service providers (CASPs).
  • The authority stated that some media reports indicate that certain institutions are the first or only ones currently licensed.
  • Additionally, the FSCA has provided a comprehensive list of approved providers, including their licence categories. More than 20 CASPs received Category I and II licences; others received Category I, and a few received I, II, and IIA.

Institutions with Category I licences can provide advice and intermediary services, whereas Category I and II licences allow them to provide advice, intermediary services, and investment management services.

Crypto asset providers VALR and Luno recently announced they had received approval from the South African Financial Services Conduct Authority. According to the FSCA list, Luno received a Category I licence approval, while VALR received both Category I and II approvals. 

Several crypto asset service providers received approval, including ARC Capital, DFM Global, and Unum Capital (Categories I and II), Indexa South Africa and Wealth Tap (Category I), Peresec Prime Brokers, CAEP Asset Managers, and Kudala Wealth (Categories I, II, and IIA). Also, Peresec Fund Platform got Category I and II approval.

The licensing process for CASPs began in June 2023, with institutions offering crypto asset services required to apply for licensing by November 2023. FSCA has received 374 licence applications and states it "will continue to provide regular updates as these applications are processed and approved" to date.

It has earlier warned that “any entity that did not apply for a license and continues activities will be investigated and there will be consequences for such actions.”

The FSCA announced in March 2024 that it had approved licences for some of the crypto asset service providers who applied; however, it has since released a comprehensive list of the firms. 

Defining crypto, the FSCA reminded the public that its licensing powers are limited to authorising and supervising CAPs as long as they provide financial services related to crypto assets under the FAIS Act, which includes the categories of licences it grants them: advice, intermediary services, and investment management services. 

“This authorisation does not include the recognition of crypto assets as legal tender, or cryptocurrency,” the authority stated.

FSCA also stated that the "South African Reserve Bank does not currently recognise crypto assets as currency."

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