Johannesburg-based investment management company, Sygnia Ltd., has announced its intention to launch a cryptocurrency exchange, Sygniacoin – which is expected to launch in the third quarter of 2018.
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South African Wealth Management Firm to Launch Cryptocurrency Exchange Next Quarter
South African investment management firm, Sygnia, has announced that it plans to launch a cryptocurrency exchange by Q4, 2018.
Sygnia Ltd. currently manages ZAR 184 billion (approximately $14.7 billion USD) worth of assets and has offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Sygnia claims to currently employ over 175 staff, and manage the assets of over 6,000 individual clients, and 600 international clients.
Magda Wierzycka, the chief executive officer of Sygnia stated “We aim to launch SygniaCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, in the third quarter of 2018. The cryptocurrency market is evolving at a rapid pace internationally and domestically, and is attracting both domestic and international flows.”
Mrs. Wierzycka described the move as comprising one of “a number of new strategic initiatives that will position Sygnia for the evolving digital future, as well as help its new business development and distribution efforts.”
“With its fintech focus, Sygnia 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,” Mrs. Weirzycka stated.
Sygniacoin Seeks to Operate According to New York State Regulations
Sygnia has indicated that it intends to operate its cryptocurrency exchange according to the principles underpinning New York’s legislative apparatus pertaining to virtual currencies. The Sygnia CEO stated, “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.”
Regarding South Africa’s regulatory apparatus, Mrs. Wierzycka acknowledged the South African Revenue Service’s move to tax investments and trades made in cryptocurrencies, adding “We expect further regulatory frameworks to follow.”
The firm also announced its intention to launch a “Sygnia Cryptocurrency Fund’ aimed at institutional investors.
South African Authorities Launch Regulatory Action Targeting Cryptocurrency Ponzi Scheme
In recent days, South African authorities have launched an investigation into an alleged cryptocurrency ponzi scheme estimated to have defrauded investors of approximately ZAR 1 billion ($80 million USD). The alleged ponzi scheme, BTC Global, purported to offer clients returns of 2 percent daily, 14 percent weekly, and 50 percent monthly.
In a statement, local police stated “Members of the public are believed to have been targeted as part of the scam and encouraged by agents of BTC Global […] Some of the investors got paid in terms of the agreement. However, the payments suddenly stopped. Investigator Yolisa Matakata added, “This may prove to be the tip of the iceberg with potentially thousands more yet to discover they’ve lost money.”
Local reports have also indicated concerns that cryptocurrency guidelines recently published by the South African Reserve Bank may indicate a coming crackdown on offshore cryptocurrency purchases.