The South African government has established an intergovernmental working group which is looking at potentially regulating cryptocurrencies.

This is according to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, answering parliamentary questions submitted by FF Plus chairperson Anton Alberts.

According to Gigaba, South Africa’s government is thoroughly aware of the technological developments in cryptocurrencies.

The working group was established in December 2016, and will work with private sector experts to monitor developments – with the aim of possibly regulating the industry.

“The position on virtual or cryptocurrencies is that they are currently not regulated – they operate without the authority of central banks,” said Gigaba.

The working group will develop an approach and potential revised policy stance towards fintech developments – including cryptocurrencies.

It will also assist the government in dealing with fast-emerging tech in the financial sector, like crowdfunding, robo-advice, machine learning, and alternative payment platforms.

“A balanced approach is being taken, which is supportive of the objectives of enhanced innovation, competition, and financial inclusion in the financial sector, while also reviewing risks related to financial customer protection, money laundering, and financial stability.”