On 19 October 2022, the FSCA declared crypto assets as a financial product under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS Act) as published in General Notice 1350 of 2022 (Declaration). Together with the Declaration, the FSCA also published FAIS Notice 90 of 2022 which contained a general exemption of persons rendering financial services in relation to crypto assets from section 7(1) of the FAIS Act (Exemption).
The deadline for submission of licence applications to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) by all persons who, as a regular feature of their business, render financial services in relation to crypto assets, is 30 November and the FSCA is urging affected persons to submit their applications timeously.
Persons who continue to render financial services in relation to crypto assets after 30 November 2023 without having submitted a licence application in terms of the FAIS Act will be regarded as conducting unauthorised or unregistered business. Such persons will be guilty of an offence and on conviction may be held liable to a fine or imprisonment, or to both. The FSCA will also publicise the names of any persons found to be conducting unauthorised financial services activities in respect of crypto assets.