Opinions

South African Gov’t All In For Not Banning Cryptos in Recent Consultation Paper

The world has witnessed countless transformations and changes ever since the cryptoverse came into existence, but its safe to say that sentiments surrounding the whole idea of cryptos have gone through the most change, especially with governments around the globe. They went from being non-serious about the whole thing, to skeptic to finally acknowledging for all it is and all that it can offer and now, we have entered the era where national governments have entire official papers dedicated to cryptos.

South Africa seems to be really considering cryptos as a part of their future. The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has recently issued a consultation paper which assesses both the benefits and the risks of cryptocurrencies. According to the official statement published on the 16th of Jan, the said paper was developed and crafted in association with a number of the country’s government agencies.

The document is titled as the “Consultation Paper on Policy Proposals for Crypto Assets”, in which the South African government clarifies that it doesn’t intend on imposing a ban on either cryptocurrency trading or crypto payments at the moment. However the paper did impose certain conditions on the crypto ecosystem.

The paper proposed that it should be mandatory for all crypto asset trading platforms, including custodial services, payment service providers, and crypto ATMs, to register themselves with the Intergovernmental FinTech Working Group (IFWG). Very much like cryptos, the IFWG is also rather new, it was established only recently by the South African government with an aim of promoting fintech innovation all the while maintaining uninterrupted functioning of the financial markets.

Furthermore, the paper also states that all the crypto-related businesses in the country will have to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) as well as Counter-Terrorism Financing (CTF) requirements laid out by the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.

The agencies that worked on the consultation paper include; the Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC), Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA), National Treasury (NT), South African Revenue Service (SARS), and the SARB.

The published statement by the agencies also revealed that the document would not be open to public feedback until the 15th of Feb.

South Africa has been making quite a few headlines with cryptocurrency and blockchain both. Earlier this month, the country’s government launched a regulatory working group dedicated solely to cryptocurrencies and blockchain. And it is expected to release a final research paper on the industry during 2019 only.

For further updates, stay tuned to BlockPublisher.

Abeer Anwaar

Abeer holds a Bachelors degree in Media studies and covers blockchain startups for BlockPublisher. An optimist, excels in the art of the written word and swears by the joy of all things sweet. Contact the editor at editor.startups@blockpublisher.com

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