South Africa's financial regulators are laying the groundwork for the “phased and structured” regulation of cryptocurrencies. The move presents a reversal of the largely hands-off approach taken for the past seven years and has been driven by increasingly high levels of retail interest in crypto in the country.
In a position paper published on June 11, the country's Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group , or IFWG, under the aegis of the Crypto Assets Regulatory Working Group, laid out a roadmap for introducing a regulatory framework that will center on crypto asset service providers, or CASPs.
South Africa's initial national policy towards crypto has until now been one of wariness but also noninterference. Back in 2014, the National Treasury issued a public statement dedicated to the issue, together with the South African Reserve Bank and the country's financial regulator and financial intelligence and tax agencies. Its tone was cautionary but unintrusive, warning the public that they could trade crypto at their own risk and would be offered no legal protection or recourse in case of difficulties.
A cryptocurrency ban is not the right solution for the Netherlands, the country’s finance minister reportedly said after a local official called for a total ban on crypto. The Netherlands should regulate the cryptocurrency market instead of prohibiting its citizens from using crypto entirely, Dutch minister of finance Wopke Hoekstra stated, according to a Friday report by local news agency NU.nl.
The official still admitted to certain risks associated with the crypto market, reportedly saying that he understood the concerns raised by director Dutch Bureau for Economic Analysis, Pieter Hasekamp. The minister stressed that it’s crucial to ensure proper rules for virtual asset service providers in order to mitigate the risks around issues such as money laundering.
“My observation is now that supervision is more effective than a total ban in the Netherlands,” Hoekstra stated, reportedly noting that it’s important to oversee the crypto market at the European level.
Hoekstra also mentioned that he already issued a warning regarding cryptocurrency-related risks back in 2017, stressing that crypto investors should realize that their bets on crypto are “entirely at their own expense and risk.”
Tanzania appears to be the latest emerging economy poised to embrace Bitcoin and crypto assets.
On June 14, Tanzanian president Samia Suluhu Hassan urged the country’s central bank to begin exploring crypto assets. Hassan emphasized the increasing impact of digital assets on global finance, stating: “We have witnessed the emergence of a new journey through the internet.”
She highlighted the lack of crypto adoption and development in the East African region, stating: “Throughout the region, including Tanzania, they have not accepted or started using these routes.”
“My call to the Central Bank is that you should start working on that development. The Central Bank should be ready for the changes and not be caught unprepared.”
Hassan’s comments come on the heels of numerous Latin lawmakers pushing for greater crypto adoption in other emerging economies, including El Salvador — where Bitcoin has been mandated as legal tender.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.