Fintech Digest: South Africa Gears up for New Crypto Regulatory Frameworkby Sharon Lewis 12 December 2021
South Africa will be launching a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in early 2022 (Bitcoin.com). The country’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) announced that it would be unveiling a crypto regulatory framework for the trading of crypto coins.
“What we want to be able to do is to intervene when we think that what is provided to potential customers are products that they don’t understand that are potentially highly risky. We must be very careful to not just legitimise them,”
said Unathi Kamlana, a commissioner with FSCA.
The regulatory body, which remains sceptical of legitimising highly risky products, is also looking into how cryptocurrencies interact with traditional financial products, and their impact on financial stability.
Kamlana noted the FSCA views crypto coins as assets and not currency, while suggesting that investors opt for stablecoins issued by central banks rather than privately created digital currencies.
It was announced in June this year that South African regulators were contemplating tightening their oversight of crypto assets (Fintech News Africa).
MEA Fintech News Highlights
South African device identity and authentication solutions provider Entersekt raises funding from Accel-KKR (Fintech News Africa).
South Africa’s Crossfin plans acquisitions in the remittance market (Tech Financials).
B2B ecommerce and embedded finance platform TradeDepot secures US$110 million in a Series B round (Fintech News Africa).
Naira notes and coins circulating in the Nigerian economy increases by 4.6% month on month in October (TechCentral).
Nigerian female-focus fintech Herconomy secures US$600,000 in a pre-seed round (Weetracker).
Ivory Coast-based digital finance platform startup CinetPay secures US$2.4 million in a seed funding round (Disrupt Africa).
Kenya-based savings platform Kwara raises a US$4 million seed funding (Disrupt Africa).
Kenya-based Hisa launches U.S. stocks trading platform for Kenyans (Tech in Africa).
Arab Bank Egypt concludes the first edition of its fintech bootcamp, with cash prizes for three winning fintech startups (Fintech News Africa).
Egypt-based buy now pay later platform Sympl fetches US$6 million seed funding (Arab News).
Egypt’s cash back shopping service WaffarX closes a multi-million dollar financing round led by Lobby Capital (Zawya).
DIFC FinTech Hive sees the largest cohort graduate its accelerator at a virtual Investor Day (Fintech News Middle East).
UAE’s Mashreq partners with India-based insurance distribution platform Turtlemint (Citywire).
Dubai-based fintech and real estate investment platform Stake receives shariah certification (Zawya).
Bahraini digital payment solutions provider Arab Financial Services plans to raise US$98 million (Fintech News Middle East).
US-based digital payment and banking tech company i2c Inc., partners with Bahrain’s superapp BEYON Money, developed by Batelco (Crowdfund Insider).
The Central Bank of Bahrain announces a new and improved Regulatory Sandbox Framework (Zawya).
Riyadh-based expense management platform Nqoodlet secures US$1 million pre-seed funding (Magnitt).
US-Israeli payables solution provider Tipalti raises a US$270 millionSeries F at a valuation of US$8.3 billion (Fintech News Middle East).
“The space is still only emerging in Africa, but local players are stepping up to cater to a demand for crypto trading that has largely been addressed so far by global platforms. Here are some Africa-based crypto exchanges that are making crypto trading accessible locally…”
Find out more about Africa-based crypto exchanges.
“The MFTA report suggests that high levels of regulation could be detrimental to growth, whereas limited intervention could lead to anti-competitive behaviour. Regulators would need to find the right balance between the two, with a consistent baseline for intervention based on market structure and technological maturity…”
Here’s what the fintech space in the Arab region needs for open finance to truly take off.
Featured image: Unsplash (edited)