South African Reserve Bank To Introduce New Crypto Rules

News, Regulation | December 2, 2019 By:

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the central bank of the country, is planning to introduce new crypto rules to stop cryptocurrencies from being used to evade currency controls.

Last week, SARB deputy governor Kuben Naidoo said that the new rules would be put in place in the first quarter of next year. The new crypto rules would reportedly put restrictions on how much local currency (rand) can be sent outside South Africa.

At present, SARB allows South Africans to send 1 million rands ($68,200) across the border without any declaration. For foreign investment purposes, the limit is set to an additional 10 million rand ($681,800), with permission from the South African Revenue Service. Due to these restrictions, many South Africans are utilizing cryptocurrencies to transfers funds anywhere in the world.

Prior to the announcement of the central bank, local banks in South Africa have started clamping down on crypto firms. Two weeks ago, First National Bank (FNB), a local bank in the country, closed all business banking accounts for companies dealing in cryptocurrencies.

“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,” the bank said in a statement.