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South Africa’s largest cryptocurrency exchange VALR enters Poland and targets global growth

For VALR, the move marks an important step in expanding their reach into the international market, solidifying their position as a global player in the cryptocurrency sector.

Date: 2024-05-02 Author: Marek Stiller
South Africa’s largest cryptocurrency exchange VALR enters Poland and targets global growth

VALR, South Africa‘s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is to offer crypto asset services in Poland and is actively exploring opportunities in other jurisdictions around the world. The exchange aims to challenge some of the world’s cryptocurrency giants, CEO Farzam Ehsani said in an interview with Reuters.

VALR is one of 75 crypto asset providers that recently received licenses from the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) in South Africa.

Founded in 2018, VALR provides a wide range of services to a diverse client base, including cash transactions, margin transactions, perpetual futures and staking products.

Serving more than 600,000 retail clients and more than 1,000 institutional clients worldwide, the exchange mainly caters to South African clients, with 25% of its users coming from different parts of the world.

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VALR recently received approval to offer crypto asset services in Poland, and has also received preliminary approval from Dubai’s regulatory body, VARA. Additionally, the exchange is in the process of obtaining a license in Mauritius.

“The intention is to actually become a global player, as we are not content with being the largest in Africa (in terms of trading volume),” he said. Expanding its reach, VALR is actively seeking regulatory clarity in other jurisdictions, including African countries such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Egypt, the CEO said.

However, the Nigerian market has faced obstacles, as authorities imposed restrictions on cryptocurrency exchanges earlier this year. Ehsani said that until the regulatory environment in Nigeria is clear, VALR will not venture into the country.

VALR aims to compete with global exchanges such as Binance

To compete with major global cryptocurrency exchanges such as Binance, VALR plans to offer similar products and services, with additional offerings such as insurance to be included in the future.

For specialized products, such as perpetual futures trading, VALR is working with other financial service providers that hold the necessary licenses, acting as a “legal representative.”

The recent establishment of a cryptocurrency licensing system by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) positions South Africa as one of the pioneering African countries in this field.

Under this system, the FSCA is preparing to issue 60 licenses to crypto companies in the coming weeks, with Luno, Zignaly and VALR having already received licenses.

Several members of the crypto community said it is unlikely that South Africa’s upcoming elections will disrupt the country’s progress on digital assets. South Africa expanded the scope of its Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act 2022 to include cryptocurrency providers, allowing digital assets to be regulated as financial products.

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Marek Stiller
Marek Stiller
Founder of the "Cryptocurrency for Beginners" channel on YouTube. He collaborates with Łukasz to form the Arena Trading group, while at the same time being passionate about blockchain technology. His knowledge and experience in the cryptocurrency industry help beginner investors better understand this dynamic market.
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