South African Government to Add Crypto Entities to ‘List of Accountable Institutions’

According to the South African government, crypto entities — or businesses whose activities include the exchange or transfer of crypto assets — are set to be included in the list of so-called accountable institutions starting Dec. 19. Businesses that convert one crypto asset to another or that conduct transactions where a crypto asset is transferred “from one crypto asset address or account to another” will also be added.

Amendments to Financial Intelligence Centre Act

The South African government recently said persons operating crypto-related businesses will be added to the list of accountable institutions in regard to the regulatory purview. According to a Nov. 29 Government Notice, the addition of crypto businesses to this list follows an amendment of schedules 1, 2, and 3 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act, 2001. The changes to the Act, which come into effect on Dec. 19, were made by the South African minister of finance, Enoch Godongwana.

In the notice, Godongwana names the types of crypto-related activities and operations that will be included in the list of so-called accountable institutions. Also among the institutions or entities that are set to be included are persons “exchanging a crypto asset for a fiat currency or vice versa.”

Businesses that convert one crypto asset to another or that conduct transactions where a crypto asset is transferred “from one crypto asset address or account to another” will also be added. Persons or businesses offering custody services or those that issue crypto assets will be added to the list, the notice said.

No Definition of Crypto Assets in Financial Markets Act

The revelation of South Africa’s intention to add crypto entities to a list that also includes attorneys, investment schemes, and money transfer businesses comes less than two months after crypto assets were designated as a financial product by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority. As reported by Bitcoin.com News, this designation means crypto asset service providers such as exchanges must now apply for a license to operate.

Meanwhile, in the same government notice, the South African finance minister also outlines what constitutes a crypto asset from the government’s perspective.

“Where crypto asset means a digital representation of perceived value that can be traded or transferred electronically within a community of users of the internet who consider it as a medium of exchange, unit of account or store of value and use it for payment or investment purposes, but does not include a digital representation of a fiat currency or a security as defined in the Financial Markets Act, 2012,” the notice explained.

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