Sygnia Bitcoin ETF

Johannesburg Stock Exchange Dashes Sygnia’s Bitcoin ETF hope, Cites Lack of Regulatory Framework

South Africa’s Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) has rejected granting Sygnia’s Bitcoin ETF application due to the “lack of a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.” In the meantime, the South African Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) released a new position paper on cryptocurrencies which might be favorable to similar application in the future. 

The asset management firm said it wasn’t expecting an immediate approval nor disapproval at the time of filing. We expected the JSE to put in it ‘file 13’ and if and when they were ready that Sygnia would be the first in the queue, “Sygnia founder and executive chairman Magda Wierzycka said.

The report revealed that the rejection isn’t alien to the company as they have gotten a similar response from JSE in 2017 when they had the opportunity of becoming the world’s first cryptocurrency ETF. As at its first application, a former executive with the exchange of JSE, John Burke, suggested the JSE “was not ready to approve cryptocurrency listings.”

 In another remark, Wierzycka decried that the bitcoin ETF “would have attracted attention, and in turn money, to the JSE.” 

However, following the JSE Bitcoin ETF rejection, the South African Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) release a new position paper on cryptocurrencies, making it dicey for future acceptance or not. IFWG’s new position paper on cryptocurrencies, published just after the JSE rejection of the ETF proposal recommends the regulation of the crypto ecosystem.

The report said that If accepted, the IFWG recommendations South Africa will likely become one of the first countries in Africa to regulate cryptocurrencies as well as likely forcing the JSE into revisiting its decision to reject Sygnia’s request.