African cryptocurrency exchange, Yellow Card, has received licensing to conduct its business in the country, the first operator to be permitted under the new Virtual Assets Act.
In a notice on Tuesday, the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority (NBFIRA) said it had issued a licence to Yellow Card Botswana, the African exchange’s local unit.
Under the Virtual Assets Act, passed in February, any operator providing cryptocurrency and related virtual assets in Botswana is required to be licensed with NBFIRA or face fines of up to P250,000 and/or five years in jail.
The Act was passed as part of tighter Anti Money Laundering/Combating Financing of Terrorism and Proliferation (AML/CFT-P) protocols instituted by the country as part of upgrading the financial sector to the highest global standards.
As a cryptocurrency exchange, Yellow Card allows clients to directly buy, sell, and store bitcoin and other virtual assets. The group is active in 16 African states and states it is the biggest cryptocurrency player in Botswana.