National Treasury and the South African Reserve Bank have stated they will look at regulating the transfer of Bitcoin and airtime, BusinessTech reports.
A policy paper released by the two groups proposes a possible review of the National Payment System Act, and includes the regulation of virtual currencies, fintech companies, and mobile money providers.
The paper acknowledges that direct regulation of payment systems such as Bitcoin is impossible, but added that the SARB should have authority to intervene in this domain when necessary.
“In certain instances, some of these systems, services, instruments, functionalities, products and service providers are mainly provided as an alternative to regulated systems, instruments, services and providers, or to circumvent the existing NPS regulatory framework in contravention of the applicable public policy objectives,” the document stated.
“In the future, the SARB should consider other methods of payment that could impact the efficiency and stability of the NPS, especially transfers of value other than money (e.g. the transfer of airtime and bitcoin).”
The paper proposed that the NPS Act should provide for the SARB’s ability to respond to emerging risks and to take the necessary enforcement for non-compliance with regulatory instruments.
“These activities may bring immediate risks to the consumer as well as longer-term risk to effective monetary policy, and may require appropriate regulation,” it stated.