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Cryptocurrency is on the rise in South Africa. At least, that’s what recent statements from South African officials would have you believe.

With governments all over the world still tangling to fully understand the benefits and potential of crypto, it’s good to note that South Africa’s Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni, seems to be taking a step in the right direction.

Recently, Mboweni announced the founding of a group dedicated to cryptocurrency asset regulation and everything that comes with it. This work group includes key representatives from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority, Financial Intelligence Centre, Treasure, SA Revenue Service (SARS), and the Reserve Bank. This group aims to establish an educated and well thought-out plan for how cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects should be perceived and managed from a legal standpoint.

This group was established in response to rising concerns around crypto asset ownership in South Africa. According to a November 2018 survey, 70% of crypto asset holders see their tokens as security.

By the end of 2019 Mboweni expects the group to publish their findings, that many are hoping can set an example for regulatory standards across the region.

“It is anticipated that, following broad industry comment and participation, the crypto assets regulatory working group will be ready to release a final research paper on the subject during the course of 2019.”

The group also intends to set new rules for the taxation of cryptocurrencies, ensuring that South African taxpayers have proper ways to declare their digital assets.

“Work is underway within SARS to consider the amendment of the tax forms for the 2019 tax season, in order to cater for the description of other assets by means of a specific description field on the form.”

Regulation is a necessity for crypto and blockchain projects to survive and thrive, and it is heartening to see the South African government taking steps to establish a suitable regulatory environment.