In November 2020, the FSCA released a draft declaration to include crypto assets as ‘financial products’ under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002. The effect of the draft declaration, once made final, would be that any person providing advice or intermediary services in relation to crypto assets would need to be licensed as a financial services provider under the FAIS Act. Comments on the draft declaration closed in January 2021. Since then, there has been no update on the timing of the regulation of crypto assets.
In an interview with Reuters on 18 May, South African Reserve Bank (SARB) Deputy Governor Kuben Naidoo, advised that the regulation of crypto assets is in the offing and might come into force within the next nine to 15 months.
In an interesting development, Deputy Governor Naidoo also spoke to the introduction of a digital rand, noting both its potential to cut the high cost of cross-border payments for banks but that its introduction is still a few years away.
All in all, positive news for the implementation of a regulatory framework and the development of a digital rand.