Yellow card, an African cryptocurrency exchange, has officially obtained the Virtual Asset Service Provider operating licence in Botswana, becoming the first crypto company to achieve the feat on the African continent. 

The VASP licence which was issued in accordance with Section 11 of the Virtual Asset Act, 2022, of the Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority [NBFIRA] officially permits Yellow Card to process crypto transactions i.e allow clients to buy and sell bitcoin, ethereum, USDT and others. 

Why it matters 
Botswana, located in the southern region of Africa and with a population of about two million people, has in the past suffered from several crypto scams. This led to Botswana’s government passing a bill in February 2022 to regulate the crypto industry. This regulation mandates every crypto or digital asset company operating in the country to register with NBFIRA and fulfil a set of conditions. 

  • Therefore, issuing the VASP license is a big step in encouraging collaboration between the crypto industry and Batswana.  

What they are saying 
Chris Maurice, CEO and co-founder of Yellow Card, says this authorization opens greater channels of expansion regarding payment partners, banking and expanding our client base across Africa. “This will further show regulators in other markets that we are not just any other cryptocurrency company – we are pioneering, pushing boundaries and setting the standard.”

What is a VASP license?  
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) defines A VASP license as a business that conducts one or more of the following actions on behalf of its clients:

Serves as an exchange between digital assets and fiat currencies

Exchange between one or more forms of virtual assets.

Organizes transfer of virtual assets. 

Safe keeps and/or administration or virtual assets or instruments enabling control over virtual assets. 

Participating in and provision of financial services related to an issuer’s offer and/or sale of a virtual asset. 

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