SA crypto oversight

South Africa is moving with more urgency to stiffen oversight of cryptocurrency assets after a proliferation of scams.

A new regulatory timeline foresees finalizing a framework in three to six months, after the publication of proposals earlier in June that requires public comment before approval, according to Kuben Naidoo, chief executive officer of South Africa’s banking regulator known as the Prudential Authority.

“We are trying to put in place the regulatory framework quickly,” said Naidoo, who’s also a deputy governor of the South African central bank. “Our view is that crypto is a financial product and should be regulated as a financial product.”

The approach that’s taking shape means tougher rules could be imminent this year after a jolt of scandals that most recently included a suspected Ponzi scheme, which resulted in the disappearance of an estimated $3.6 billion in Bitcoin.

“Now we are defining this as a financial product and if there are scams where the public is being duped, given incorrect or false information, it is certainly a market conduct issue that should be taken seriously,” Naidoo said.