Yellow Card Receives First-Ever African Crypto Licence

By Samuel Ouma

Yellow Card, the Pan-African cryptocurrency leader, has become the continent’s first cryptocurrency company to be granted a Virtual Asset Service Provider license to operate in Botswana.

The license was issued on September 29, 2022, by the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority [NBFIRA] in accordance with Section 11 of the Virtual Asset Act, 2022. It will become the standard for crypto operations in the country.

According to Chris Maurice, CEO, and co-founder of Yellow Card, this is a watershed moment for the company, its customers, investors, and the crypto industry as a whole, as it benefits everyone along the value chain.

“This opens up greater channels of expansion with regards to payment partners, banking, and expanding our client base across Africa. This will further show regulators in other markets that we are not just any other cryptocurrency company – we are pioneering, pushing boundaries, and setting the standard. All the more reason for them to work together with us as well,” he said.

Yellow Card complies with global AML, Sanctions, FATF Travel Rule requirements, and KYC of all customers across all jurisdictions.

The company is also registered on GoAML and with local Financial Intelligence Units in most of its jurisdictions to help report on AML, Sanctions, and Financial Crime matters. The company also complies with the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Botswana is one of a few countries worldwide taking significant steps to implement tighter regulations around cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. Previously, the Bank of Botswana warned of the risks of investing in unregulated cryptocurrencies. And now, with the license in place, it will be more difficult for those who masquerade as legitimate Virtual Asset Service Providers to scam people.

Although Botswana has a small population, they boast a significantly strong purchasing power due to the Pula’s strength relative to other African currencies. When it comes to digital innovation, citizens have a high-risk tolerance and are always looking for the next big thing in the digital space. That said, the appetite for innovation and the challenges ordinary citizens face due to the lack of access is a massive gap in the Botswanan market that Yellow Card is catering to.

Keletso Thophego, Botswana Country Manager for Yellow Card, says, “The majority of the population is unbanked because of the increasing difficulty of getting bank accounts for the average people who do not have payslips. There’s no doubt that because of blockchain technology, we have been able to cater to the unbanked faster and more efficiently.


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