Sygnia, South Africa’s financial services firm led by businesswomen Magda Wierzycka, is planning to launch cryptocurrency exchange in the country.
The country’s second largest fund manager, which has R181 billion assets under management, disclosed its plans for the cryptocurrency exchange in its interim results published on Friday.
Sygnia is a JSE-listed financial services group offering a range of investment management solutions and administration services to institutional and retail clients in South Africa and abroad.
“We aim to launch SygniaCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, in the third quarter of 2018,” the company disclosed.
“The cryptocurrency market is evolving at a rapid pace internationally and domestically, and is attracting both domestic and international flows.”
The company added that with its fintech focus, it is well-positioned to become the first major financial services institution to embrace cryptocurrencies and to offer investors a secure trading and execution platform backed by an international infrastructure, well-designed custody and integration with standard savings products.
The regulation around cryptocurrency exchanges is likely to evolve, added Sygnia in its results presentation.
“The 2018/19 Budget defined cryptocurrencies as “digital assets that may be used as a medium of exchange”. The South African Revenue Service (SARS) has already indicated that trading and investing in cryptocurrencies are subject to tax. We expect further regulatory frameworks to follow.”
To ensure the highest levels of integrity and security for clients, the company said is basing its policies, protocols and processes on existing regulatory framework applicable to cryptocurrency exchanges registered in New York State, USA.
“We will also be able to offer investors the option of holding cryptocurrencies on the Sygnia Alchemy administration portal, alongside their investments.”
However, earlier this month the JSE turned down Sygnia’s attempt to list a cryptocurrency fund as it grapples with the future of digital currencies, according to a Business Day report.