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South Africa’s FSCA Confirms Licenses to 75 Crypto Service Providers

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) of South Africa has officially announced that it has granted crypto licenses to 75 institutions as of Monday.

This confirmation comes after various crypto businesses had claimed to be the sole recipients of such licenses. These licenses are issued under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act to crypto asset service providers (CASPs).

“The FSCA’s authority in licensing is confined to the authorization and oversight of CASPs solely when they provide financial services related to crypto assets as defined in the FAIS Act,” the statement clarified.

These services encompass advisory, intermediary, and investment management services. However, the FSCA emphasized that this does not imply recognition of crypto assets as legal tender.

“The reports suggesting otherwise are inaccurate, as the South African Reserve Bank does not presently recognize crypto assets as currency,” the regulatory body emphasized.

Among the entities granted crypto licenses are Luno, Altcoin Trader, and VALR, among others.

South Africa has received over 374 applications from CASPs, and after two years of groundwork, only 75 have been licensed. “The FSCA will continue to provide updates regularly as these applications are reviewed and approved,” the release concluded.

Binance Did Not Make FSCA’s Crypto License List

Despite being one of the largest crypto exchanges globally, Binance did not secure a crypto license in South Africa.

The exchange established its local presence in July 2022. However, it previously announced the cessation of certain services in the country to align with regulations. This decision came after the regulator cautioned against the risks to consumers associated with engaging with the “Binance Group.”

According to the FSCA, Binance lacks authorization to provide financial services or conduct business in South Africa, and the country presently does not regulate crypto-related investments. Moreover, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has imposed new taxes on cryptocurrencies, with rates reaching up to 45%.

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

Every cryptocurrency has two main components: the units of digital exchange called “coins” and the network within which the exchange takes place. These units can be transferred between wallets and exchanged on exchanges. The networks in which these coins exist are called blockchains, which translates to “chains of blocks.”

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