Nigerian cryptocurrency exchange Roqqu has announced its expansion to South Africa following a regulatory approval that allows the exchange to offer its services in the country.
- The approval, made via Roqqu’s social media accounts, allows South African users to make deposits and withdrawals in the local currency — South African rand (ZAR) — on the exchange.
- This comes only months after it obtained a virtual currency license to operate in the European Economic Area. The permit allows the firm to offer services in over 28 European countries, Mariblock previously reported.
- At the time, Roqqu, which claims to have 1.4 million users in Nigeria, said it plans to expand operations into other African countries, including Ghana, Uganda, South Africa and Tanzania.
What they’re saying
- Roqqu’s head of product, Israel Ololade, said the expansion into South Africa was strategic, adding that the company found the move to South Africa “expedient” after intensive research.
What we don’t know
- Roqqu didn’t specify the South African body that gave the regulatory go-ahead.
- The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
What we know
- As part of a grander move to regulate the crypto industry, South Africa’s Financial Sector Conduct Authority started requiring digital assets companies to secure a license in 2023. Companies already operating in the country must apply for a license between June 1 and Nov. 30, 2023.
- In December 2022, the country’s anti-money laundering watchdog — the Financial Intelligence Centre — added crypto businesses to the list of accountable institutions under the Financial Intelligence Act just months after it classified crypto assets as financial products.
- South Africa’s reserve bank also authorized financial institutions to serve crypto asset service providers in a bid to uphold “financial integrity.”
- The Finder Cryptocurrency Adoption Index shows that 4.6 million people own crypto in South Africa, and it ranks 17th place for crypto adoption.