African cryptocurrency exchange Yellow Card has received major regulatory approval to further expand its operations on the continent.
Yellow Card has obtained a virtual asset service provider (VASP) license from the Botswana Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), according to the Oct. 19 announcement.
The new license officially authorizes Yellow Card to allow its customers to buy and sell Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and the stablecoin Tether (USDT) with the local fiat currency, the Botswana pula.
According to Chris Maurice, CEO and co-founder of Yellow Card, the new license opens up further opportunities for the firm’s expansion to payment partners and banking institutions across Africa.
“This will show regulators in other markets that we are not just any cryptocurrency company, but that we are pioneers, pushing boundaries and setting the standard,” Maurice stated.
Yellow Card is the first crypto exchange to obtain a VASP license issued in AfricaMaurice told Cointelegraph. “Exchanges operating across the continent may have VASP licenses from jurisdictions outside of Africa,” Maurice said, adding:
“The Botswana VASP license is the first license for African cryptocurrency exchanges established by an African country, and Yellow Card is the first recipient of a Botswana NBFIRA VASP license.”
According to the announcement, NBFIRA issued the VASP license on September 29 in accordance with Section 11 of the Virtual Assets Act 2022.
Now officially regulated by local authorities, Yellow Card said it also complies with major global regulations, including Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer requirements as part of the Travel Rule introduced by the Financial Action Task Force.
Yellow Card is also registered with goAML to help inform anti-money laundering, financial crime and sanctions, and is also compliant with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.says the ad.
Located in southern Africa, Botswana has a population of about 2 million people. His government passed a bill to regulate the trading of cryptocurrencies and digital tokens as part of its efforts to tighten anti-money laundering measures in February 2022. The new rules require anyone who wants to offer cryptocurrency services in Botswana to obtain a license from the NBFIRA and meet a list of conditions.
The government was very skeptical of crypto not too long ago, with the central bank warning of the high risks of crypto investment in November 2021.
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