Botswana issues first virtual asset provider licence
Pan-African cryptocurrency exchange Yellow Card Financial has secured a Virtual Asset Provider (VASP) licence in Botswana, the first time this type of licence has been issued in the country.
According to the Non-Bank Financial Institution Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA), this means members of the public can conduct business with Yellow Card Financial without concern over legitimacy.
Boa Ntebele, Head of Communications & International Affairs at NBFIRA, said, "The licensing of Yellow Card Botswana is demonstration of the continued growth in depth and dynamism of the local market, in alignment with international developments. Licensed entities are supervised by the Regulatory Authority through a variety of supervisory tools which include - but are not limited to - inspections, investigations and enforcement action.”
The NBFIRA said statutory obligations seek to ensure virtual asset business operations are safe and sound and do not present a systemic risk to their respective industry, nor expose customers to undue risks.
According to Ntebele, the regulator checks for compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards. These standards require countries to assess and mitigate the risks associated with virtual asset businesses and subject them to supervision or monitoring.
"This is an important component in building and sustaining the confidence of local and international stakeholders in the integrity of the industries within the local Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFI) sector,” said Ntebele.
Yellow Card Financial also recently closed a US$40-million Series B funding. The company said it will use the funding to expand, develop new products and advance strategic partnerships.