Mauritius will soon licence digital asset custodians as part of its plan to create a fintech hub, according to an announcement by the island nation’s Financial Services Commission (FSC). The framework will come into effect on March 1.
The FSC say it has made significant progress in establishing the Mauritius International Financial Centre as the FinTech hub, “in and for, Africa”.
The announcement stated that following the recognition of digital assets as an asset-class for investment, the FSC issued a consultation paper on 05 November 2018 seeking feedback from stakeholders and the public on the proposed regulatory framework for the Custodian Services (Digital Asset) Licence, which allows its holder to provide custody services for Digital Assets.
Obligations For Licensees
The November consultation paper lists a series of stipulations for licensees, including statutory reporting and disclosures to clients, a minimum of reserve assets and a comprehensive program for risk management. Holders of the licence must comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism funding rules, “in line with international best practices”.
This framework has been developed following consultations with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on the governance and regulation of digital financial assets.
“The Blueprint has identified a number of key opportunities that we have to tap into to foster further value added activities in our jurisdiction,” said Chairman of the FSC, Dr Renganaden Padayachy. “This new framework is in line with this strategy and we are confident that it is yet another addition that will increase the competitiveness of our jurisdiction.”
Commenting on this forward-thinking framework, the Honourable Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius stated: “In revolutionising the global FinTech ecosystem through this regulatory framework for the custody of Digital Assets, my Government reiterates its commitment to accelerating the country’s move to an age of digitally-enabled economic growth. As an African country, we look forward to fostering further innovation and bringing more prosperity to the region”.
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