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South African Investment Firm to Launch Crypto Exchange

South African investment firm Sygnia Asset Management is launching a cryptocurrency exchange later this year, it has announced. The exchange will be called SygniaCoin and is expected to be unveiled before the end of September.

“We aim to launch SygniaCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, in the third quarter of 2018,” Magda Wierzycka, CEO of Sygnia said.

Sygnia to launch exchange

“The cryptocurrency market is evolving at a rapid pace internationally and domestically, and is attracting both domestic and international flows,” she added.

The move will make Sygnia – which manages $14.5 billion in assets – one of the major firms to add cryptocurrencies to its portfolio. According to Wierzycka, the platform will give investors a  “secure trading and execution platform backed by an international infrastructure, well-designed custody and integration with standard savings products.”

BitLicense Framework

SygniaCoin will use New York State Department of Financial Service’s BitLicense framework as a template for its operations and policies, Wierzycka said. The regulatory framework is designed by the NDFS for virtual currency exchanges operating in New York and is considered one of the most robust globally.

“To ensure the highest levels of integrity and security for clients, we are basing our policies, protocols and processes on existing regulatory framework applicable to cryptocurrency exchanges registered in New York State, USA, Wierzycka is quoted by Business Tech as saying.

Under the plan, investors will have the option of adding cryptocurrencies to their basket of investments as well as the option of trading in them. Sygnia will also have a fund that will invest in assorted cryptocurrencies on behalf of its customers.

Huge Interest

Interest in cryptocurrencies is huge in South Africa with a large part of the population planning to invest despite the ongoing slump. South Africa is yet to come up with a clear legislation governing cryptocurrency trading.

The South African Revenue Service recently indicated that proceeds from cryptocurrency trading were part of taxable income. The taxman classifies cryptocurrencies as “assets of an intangible nature” for purposes of taxation but does not see them as currencies.

Large institutional investors have been slowly getting into the space partly due to investor demand. Monex Group of Japan recent acquired troubled cryptocurrency exchange Coincheck as an entry point to the cryptocurrency market.

Goldman Sachs is also setting up a cryptocurrency trading desk where it will act as a clearing agent.

Mitsubishi UFJ, one of the largest banks in Japan recently announced it was testing its own MUFG coin internally to be used for transactions. A larger test involving about 100,000 users is set to be rolled out next year.


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