South Africa’s FSCA Grants License to Crypto Exchange Luno, Sets Precedent for Regulation


Cryptocurrency exchange Luno has become one of the inaugural firms to secure a license from South Africa’s Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA), solidifying its status as a recognized financial services provider within the country.

The granting of the financial services provider license to Luno comes in the wake of the FSCA’s classification of crypto assets as financial products under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act of 2002 (FAIS).

Expressing enthusiasm about this milestone, Christo de Wit, Luno’s South Africa country manager, underscored the significance of being the premier licensed crypto asset service provider in the nation. He emphasized Luno’s decade-long commitment to the crypto market and its dedication to ensuring compliance, safety, and security for its clientele.

Luno, initially launched in 2013, operates as a crypto exchange alongside offering a cryptocurrency investment app, extending its services to over 40 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

The FSCA’s move to authorize operating licenses for 59 cryptocurrency exchanges signifies a broader regulatory framework taking shape. Out of over 300 South African crypto providers seeking permits, only 59 have met the FSCA’s criteria for approval. As per regulatory mandates, digital asset exchanges must obtain permits to conduct operations within the country.

In alignment with its stance on regulatory oversight, the FSCA had previously classified cryptocurrency assets as financial products in 2022, underscoring the necessity for regulation to safeguard financial consumers and combat illicit financial activities like money laundering and terrorism financing. Exchanges were given until November 30 to apply for licenses, failing which they risked enforcement actions.

The FSCA’s approach to regulating crypto assets, outlined in 2021, emphasizes a phased and structured integration into the South African regulatory landscape. With a surge in retail interest in crypto assets, the FSCA remains vigilant against instances of consumer abuse, fraud, and market misconduct, both domestically and internationally. Recent media reports have highlighted schemes exploiting crypto assets, further reinforcing the imperative for regulatory intervention to uphold market integrity.

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