This is an Op-Ed received from Angus Brown. Angus is a FinTech entrepreneur with extensive experience in the banking industry in South Africa having developed eBucks for FNB and fintech products for numerous banks, he now serves as co-CEO of Centbee.
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Despite crypto being unregulated in South Africa, the current regulatory stance is that South Africans may buy any crypto-assets, store them, and pay for goods and services. Even though crypto-assets are not (yet) registered as financial securities – like art or jewellery it is still legal to own and use them.
At Centbee, we’ve provided detailed commentary and recommendations to the Intergovernmental FinTech Working Group (IFWG), which input has been well-received by the regulators. We strongly believe that regulation supporting crypto-assets is necessary to protect customers. We have been a prominent voice in the South African and global media over the past few years encouraging regulators to develop considered regulation and provide guidelines.
Corruption and money-laundering have been discussed a lot this year in South Africa, and exposés into illegal activity have led to the fall of presidents and governments globally. Nobody wants to see criminals get away with their ill-gotten gains and the public supports efforts to detect and prosecute them.
As individuals, we begrudgingly put up with know your customer (KYC) procedures at banks and other financial institutions. Fintech firms like InterGreatMe and Tulioo are making these procedures far simpler and convenient allowing customers to complete the FICA or RICA process from home within minutes.
There are global guidelines as to how anti-money laundering (AML) procedures should be designed, and these will very soon apply to the crypto-asset industry as well. Reputable and forward-thinking crypto exchanges and wallets already implement their own procedures based on such principles.
The Intergovernmental FinTech Working Group (IFWG) which is made up of members of the South African Reserve Bank, SARS, the Financial Intelligence Centre, National Treasury, National Credit Regulator and the Financial Sector Conduct Authority has indicated that they intend to provide an improved regulatory framework for crypto-assets in order to standardise these procedures.
BITCOIN SV COMMITTED TO REGULATION COMPLIANCE
Centbee’s core business is to build a payments ecosystem on top of the BitcoinSV blockchain. The BitcoinSV community and developer ecosystem is committed to compliance with regulation. The BSV community along with Centbee are very focused on creating a legally sustainable system to the satisfaction of global regulators. We believe that pure anonymity in financial transactions will only serve criminals, and we agree with Satoshi’s vision of a crypto-asset that is ‘pseudonymous’. This means that your transactions are private, but not anonymous. A properly authorised investigating party, such as a forensic team, can trace funds.
Contrary to the anarchist belief that pseudonymity is an infringement on your rights to privacy, Centbee believes that a pseudonymous system, such as BitcoinSV, will increase freedom in the world by enabling citizens to hold institutions such as government and state-owned entities accountable by increasing transparency in all transactions thereby reducing crime and corruption.
Centbee will only ever support a crypto-asset that is regulation-friendly, and will actively support regulators in creating policy and rules that make cryptocurrency safe for customers to use every day.
Angus Brown is the co-founder and CEO of Centbee, a FinTech firm based in South Africa that builds products and services that make it easy to send, store and spend Bitcoin SV. Their vision is to help people pay for real-world goods and services using Bitcoin SV payment processes. The Centbee wallet, available in the App Store and Google Play store, enables customers to top-up Bitcoin SV from till-points in over 50,000 retailers across South Africa.
Brown started his career in physics, and has spent over 20 years in banking. During his time at First Rand Limited, he co-founded eBucks.com, the world’s first bank-backed digital currency. He also held executive positions at FNB, Mercantile Bank, Blue Label Telecoms and MMI Holdings before starting Centbee in 2016 with his co-founder, blockchain and bitcoin expert, Lorien Gamaroff.
This article is an Op-Ed received from Centbee. SA Crypto did not receive any form of compensation for its publication, and as this material is deemed newsworthy for the Southern African blockchain industry, it was thus published accordingly.