South Africa will look to introduce a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, said Kuben Naidoo, Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).
"Our view has changed and we now regard it [cryptocurrency] as a financial asset and we hope to regulate it as a financial asset," he said at a PSG Think Big webinar. "There has been a lot of money that has flowed in, and there is a need to regulate it and bring it into the mainstream."
Regulations, he said, could take 12 to 18 months, but some know-your-customer (KYC) rules and licenses for exchanges can be implemented earlier.
"Once the ministers amend schedule one of the FIC (Financial Intelligence Centre) act, then we can begin to move. It will probably still take us around 12 to 18 months to get all of our ducks in a row, get everything in place. But I don't think that this has to happen in a big bang. I think we can start to have some KYC rules. We can start to license exchanges," Naidoo said.
He also said the central bank is "quite close to finalizing the exchange control rules and requirements."
Naidoo also indicated the possibility of South Africa issuing a central bank digital currency.
"The issue about whether the central bank itself should issue a digital currency, and we are experimenting, we are learning," Naidoo said. "We've had two pilots we've done. We've created a central bank digital currency in a test environment ... But I think we are probably several years away from that."
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