Mauritius To Give Crypto Custodians License

| Publish date: 02/09/2019

Mauritius is expected to provide license to digital asset custodians, according to an official report. The decision to do is basically part of a plan to develop a fintech hub, which will be “in and for” Africa.

Framework Now Finalized

The move was made official through an announcement. The country’s Financial Services Commission or FSC stated that the framework – after issuing draft rules in a consultation paper in November last year – is now finalized. It is expected to take effect come March 1.

In effect, the aforementioned framework would set the much-needed rules for a license. The latter, on the other hand, would enable the holder to offer custody services for cryptocurrencies. Ultimately, this decision enables Mauritius to be the first ever jurisdiction globally to provide a regulated landscape meant specifically for digital currencies.

The prime minister of the Republic of Mauritius named Pravind Kumar Jugnauth said that the goal is to revolutionize the international FinTech ecosystem via the newly-launched regulatory framework for the custody of digital currencies. And by doing so, the government will once again ensure its commitment towards the acceleration of the country’s move to an age of digitally-inclined economic growth.

The final framework is already confirmed for publication in full during the forthcoming Government Gazette on the first of March. However, the announcement itself suggests that holders of the license are mandated to comply with the rules covering counter-terrorism and anti-money laundering. These rules, in particular, are in line with the best practices followed across the globe.

Following Guidelines

It holds true that the consultation paper from November has been barely changed in terms of its final form. Still, it managed to list a series of stipulations meant for licenses. This already includes the likes of statutory reporting and disclosures to clients. In addition, it is expected to cover a minimum of reserve assets and a so-called program, which is deemed to be comprehensive by nature, solely for risk management.

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Custodians are asked to follow guidelines exclusive for storage as well. This storage, on the other hand, refers to the ones that have digital asset seeds and keys. They also have to demonstrate security procedures that are specific for the onsite cold storage of assets. More importantly, they will have to put forward a system responsible for the detection and reporting of transactions deemed suspicious.

The FSC, through the announcement, added that it has already engaged with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. The agency is simply referring to the governance and regulation of digital currencies.


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