Digital currency companies in South Africa are threatening to abandon the country and operate abroad if local legislators fail to lay down regulatory clarity to its local cryptocurrency industry.
As major financial centers like Singapore revise laws to attract crypto companies and with the British government facing calls to adopt cryptocurrencies, South Africa’s growing exchanges say they may have to move somewhere else because of uncertainty over potential government regulation.
Sean Sanders, chief executive officer of local crypto investment platform Revix, described the South African government as being “incredibly slow” in setting up clear regulatory guidelines for the crypto market.
Ready to pack up
Sanders said they are considering plans to relocate the headquarters of Revix to the UK and looking at another location in Germany to spur growth. Revix is a Cape Town-based operator specializing in bundles of different digital coins.
“That leads to businesses looking internationally. In an unregulated environment, a customer arrives at our platform with skepticism, and rightfully so,” CoinTelegraph quoted Sanders as saying.
According to Sanders, South Africa seems to be headed in the opposite direction of some of the more developed market pioneers and innovators in the crypto industry.
Global crypto exchange Luno — Africa’s biggest crypto platform and operates in more than 40 countries — is registered in London and has a presence in Singapore.
Crypto firms snubbed by banks
South African crypto companies are claiming the government’s financial institutions are hesitant to give banking services to them, with Marius Reitz, the African general manager of Luno, warning the apparent banking embargo will affect domestic adoption.
Bitcoin’s strong rally this year has “propelled greater interest in cryptocurrencies,” which has translated into larger customer activity and many new app installs, Luno said.
Meanwhile, the interest from institutional investors had lifted Bitcoin to a record of over $58,000 in February this year before it pared some of its gains. The currency traded at a two-week high on Tuesday.
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