The World Economic Forum Africa which ran from the 4th to the 6th of September is 28th time that the forum is being held on the African continent. Photo: File

JOHANNESBURG – Technology offers immense development potential if you don’t allow compliance to trip you up

The world is in the midst of a revolution and there is both excitement and fear depending on the context of the discussion.

The fourth industrial revolution is driving unprecedented advancements in the realms of big data, the internet of things, artificial intelligence, blockchain and much more.

 The fear stems from entering the unknown where potential job losses and cybercrime loom ever large. The excitement is borne from an anticipation of the improvement of lives and streamlining of services. The certainty is that it is happening right now.

According to the same report, 11 countries have either partially or completely banned all institutions and individuals from using crypto assets.

According to King, it is prudent that if you design, build and invest in fintech and crypto assets, you should do so with the legal framework in mind. If you haven’t considered the legal framework, she says, there is a chance you would have to start again which would be very costly and possibly catastrophic for your business.

“The point of fintech is to enable growth and development. Legal roadblocks should not be the death knell to a good idea,” said King.

“There are a lot of cypto-related investment products, payment products and derivatives of crypto assets,” she explains. “You should consider whether you are creating a collective investment scheme, or are you inadvertently a deposit-taking institution?”

King’s advice is clear. “If you design around regulation, that’s your first prize. There is no point being innovative if you are going to innovate into a regulatory roadblock.”