South Africa Planning New Regulations to Prevent Use of Crypto for Capital Flight

  • South Africa's central bank is planning new rules to prevent the use of crypto in evading currency control regulations.
  • The new rules are expected to go into effect Q1 2020.

South Africa’s central bank is planning to implement new regulations to prevent cryptoassets from being used to evade currency controls. 

On Dec. 2, South African Reserve Bank (SARB) deputy governor Kuben Naidoo said the central bank is planning new restrictions on how much local currency can be sent outside of the country, including the use of crypto. According to Naidoo, the rules will reportedly be put into place in Q1 2020. 

South Africans are currently restricted to sending a total of 11 million rand ($750,600) across borders, with anything over 1 million rand requiring a special application to the South African Revenue Service. Some within the country have begun using cryptocurrency as a convenient workaround for the fiat restrictions. 

Naidoo and the SARB are hoping to institute new regulations to prevent the evasion of currency controls. As reported a premium on Bitcoin developed earlir this year in the country, partly because of the restrictions people face when sending money accross borders.

Already local South African banks such as FNB have begun to clamp down on crypto companies. According to a business report by IOL, FNB closed all business banking accounts for companies dealing in cryptocurrency last week. 

The bank issued a statement on the decision, 

FNB considers this to be a prudent course of action following a comprehensive review of the potential risks currently associated with these entities, particularly given that appropriate regulatory frameworks are not yet in place.

AltCoinTrader, one of South Africa’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, said they were “disappointed” by the financial institution’s stance towards crypto. 

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