Botswana Passes New Cryptocurrency Bill, Aiming to Curb Money Laundering

  • Richard Marley
  • February 03, 2022
  • 2 minutes read
  • 2409

Another African country, Botswana has taken a significant step towards regulating cryptocurrency and has passed a new bill to legalize digital assets trading.

According to the source, virtual tokens and cryptocurrency will be regulated, aiming to strengthen their existing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) framework. The “Virtual Assets Bill” was approved unanimously on Tuesday, while the opposition law legislation authorities said the cryptocurrency sector should be left unregulated as they can cause a “Wild West” of the financial institutions and hold the potential risk to the country’s AML efforts.

The new bill comes with the obligation that any money exchange, virtual assets service providers, or any kind of businesses associated with cryptocurrency or digital token trading need to get a license from the Non-Bank Financial Institution Regulatory Authority.

Botswana’s Finance Minister, Peggy Serame confirmed the news, as the businesses have been preparing the ground to improve their AML controls amid scrutiny that could lead the Financial Action Task Force to include the country into its list. However, the bill still needs a presidential signature to make it formal and get authorities’ approval as well.

As cryptocurrencies and virtual assets are gaining wider adoption, the potential risk of financial crimes has also skyrocketed as heaps of individuals are falling prey to Ponzi schemes, cryptocurrency scams. Thus, financial watchdogs are making efforts and finding out innovative ways to secure cryptocurrency activities in Africa.

Henceforth, the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa is planning to develop an AML framework to detect and curb the occurrence of crypto investment scams, with the objective of providing people with a risk-free digital trading ecosystem.

As FXEmpire reported in January 2022, this framework will particularly regulate cryptocurrency and digital assets trading operations. However, the new crypto bill is a result of mutual collaboration of FSCA with the Financial Surveillance Board, and the Prudential Authority. 

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