A new crypto regulation in South Africa will see crypto exchanges unable to operate in the country without licences by November 30. 

According to reports by Bloomberg, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) will require that crypto exchanges in the country operate with licences by the end of the year. The FSCA has set a November 30 deadline for licence applications. 

According to Unathi Kamlana, commissioner of the FSCA, the regulator has received about 20 applications since the commencement of the exercise, with further plans for “enforcement action” that could see the unabiding firms fined or closed down if they continue to operate without a licence past the November 30 deadline.

“There is potentially serious harm to financial customers when using crypto products, and therefore it makes sense for us to introduce the regulatory framework,” Kamlana told Bloomberg. “Time will tell the effectiveness of our measures, and we will continue to work together with the industry to refine and make changes where and if necessary.”

South Africa becomes the first country on the continent to require that digital asset exchanges secure licences as crypto regulators and policymakers around the world continue to tighten the regulation belt around cryptocurrency.

Several of the continent’s largest crypto trading exchanges emerged from South Africa, including Luno and VALR. Other global platforms such as Binance operate in the country and will also need to abide by the new regulations. 

According to Finder’s Cryptocurrency Adoption Index report, four million South Africans own cryptocurrencies. The index measures the growth of cryptocurrencies worldwide through an ongoing survey of internet users in 26 countries.

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