The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) will reportedly implement new rules for cryptocurrency use early next year, according to local media outlet Business Report. The new guidelines will be designed to prevent people from using digital currency to thwart the country’s currency controls.
Thought SARB offered no comment on the reports, some banks in South Africa have apparently already been in the process of cracking down on digital currency entities. Business Report notes that FNB recently closed all of its cryptocurrency-related business accounts. In a statement, the bank suggested that its actions were “prudent” given the risks and lack of regulatory guidance.
SARB deputy governor Kuben Naidoo reportedly signaled the central bank’s intent last week, in remarks to journalists. Reporters were apparently told that the bank had been studying the issue for roughly five years and plans to implement the new rules sometime in the first quarter of the coming year.
South Africa currently places limitations on the total amount of money companies and individuals can send abroad. The current limits allow R1 million to be transferred out of the country without a formal declaration, and up to R10 million if the sender obtains permission from the country’s Revenue Service. The latter amount can only be approved for foreign investment.
The South African rand’s devaluation has led some to turn to cryptocurrency and other means as a way to send money out of the country to protect their wealth. The new rules would likely apply the same type of currency controls used to limit transfers of the country’s fiat currency.