JOHANNESBURG – The South African Reserve Bank on Tuesday asked for public comment on a policy paper outlining the perceived risks and benefits associated with crypto assets, the available regulatory approaches around them and proposals to industry participants and stakeholders.
In 2014, the National Treasury warned members of the public about the risks associated with the use of crypto assets for transacting or investing. It noted that no specific legislation or regulation existed for their use and there was, therefore no legal protection or recourse to users or investors.
The Sarb, through the National Payment System Department, issued a position paper on crypto assets in the same year, highlighting the risks surrounding them such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
In the absence of a legal and regulatory framework for South Africa, the acceptance of crypto assets for the payment of goods and services is currently at the discretion of consumers and willing merchants.
Crypto assets are used for online purchases or purchases at physical stores and the majority of crypto payment transactions in South Africa use Bitcoin as the medium of exchange.