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Thread: Bitcoin, FICA, SA Regs

  1. #1
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    Question Bitcoin, FICA, SA Regs

    Helo. Does anyone have information with regards to regulations / compliance of exchange of "virtual currencies" (like Bitcoin) in South Africa as a company or individual. I don't see anything on the FICA website. I'm not sure how it could ever be regulated giving the nature of Bitcoin, but anyway...

    All I could find was the following excerpt from Wikipedia referring to regulation of virtual currency in United States by FinCEN. Does anyone have info on any similar regulations that have to be adhered to in SA? Or how how current regulations could apply to exchange of virtual currencies?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    On 18 March 2013, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (or FinCEN), a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury, issued a report regarding centralized and decentralized "virtual currencies" and their legal status within "money services business" (MSB) and Bank Secrecy Act regulations.[38] It classified digital currencies and other digital payment systems such as bitcoin as "virtual currencies" because they are not legal tender under any sovereign jurisdiction. FinCEN cleared American users of bitcoin of legal obligations by saying, "A user of virtual currency is not an MSB under FinCENís regulations and therefore is not subject to MSB registration, reporting, and recordkeeping regulations." However, it held that American entities who generate "virtual currency" such as bitcoins are money transmitters or MSBs if they sell their generated currency for national currency: "...a person that creates units of convertible virtual currency and sells those units to another person for real currency or its equivalent is engaged in transmission to another location and is a money transmitter." This specifically extends to "miners" of the bitcoin network who may have to register as an MSB and abide by the respective requirements of being a money transmitter if they sell their generated bitcoins for national currency and are within the United States.[36]

    Additionally, FinCEN claimed regulation over American entities that manage bitcoins in a payment processor setting or as an exchanger: "In addition, a person is an exchanger and a money transmitter if the person accepts such de-centralized convertible virtual currency from one person and transmits it to another person as part of the acceptance and transfer of currency, funds, or other value that substitutes for currency."[37][38]

    In summary, FinCEN's decision would require Bitcoin exchanges where bitcoins are traded for traditional currencies to disclose large transactions and suspicious activity, comply with money laundering regulations, and collect information about their customers as traditional financial institutions are required to do.[47][48]

    Patrick Murck of the Bitcoin Foundation criticized FinCEN's testament as an "overreach" and claimed that FinCEN "cannot rely on this guidance in any enforcement action".
    PS. If you feel the need to tell me how Bitcoin will fail or the Bubble that's going to burst, please start a new thread somewhere else. I just need the info described above, thanks people.

  2. #2
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    I just opened a trader account with and had to go through a validation process including submitting my ID and one month's bank statement. This is know as KYI process (know your identity) and is part of law with regards to financial service providers in South Africa.

    Does anyone else have experience with trading in Bitcoins?

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