South Africa’s FSCA awards licence to crypto asset service provider Luno

South African crypto asset service provider, Luno, has secured a licence from the Financial Services Conduct Authority (FSCA) to operate as a financial services provider.

Luno is the first dedicated crypto asset service provider in South Africa to be awarded its financial services provider licence.  This follows  FSCA’s declaration of crypto assets as a financial product in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS).

 “As a homegrown trailblazer with more than ten years of experience in the crypto market, Luno is thrilled to be the first licensed crypto asset service provider in the country. ” Christo de Wit, Luno’s country manager for South Africa, said.

”This is a positive step for both the cryptocurrency industry and South Africans. Compliance, safety and security for our customers have driven our growth since the beginning and will continue to be priorities as we expand our offering to introduce more features and products for financial institutions,” he added.

Headquartered in London with over 800 employees across offices in London, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Singapore, Luno is a cryptocurrency investment app Founded by two South Africans.

South Africa’s FSCA has indicated in March that the first 59 licences were almost ready to be awarded, which would grant these companies the right to operate as crypto assets financial services providers. About 262 applications were in progress at the time.

Crypto assets were declared as financial products in terms of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, 2002 (FAIS) by the FSCA in 2023.

The licensing will see traditional institutions which are already licensed financial service providers be able to include exposure to crypto assets in their offerings by adding the crypto assets category to their existing licences. Licensed banks and asset managers can also introduce crypto assets to their very large customer bases and financial advisors can advise their clients about responsible crypto asset investing.

In addition, traditional financial institutions can include exposure to crypto for their clients by partnering and engaging with experienced, credible and licensed firms.

As a regulated financial product, crypto assets will more likely form part of investment portfolios. In this way, regulation has cleared a path for greater adoption of crypto assets in the mainstream financial system.

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