Regulatory Developments in the Digital Assets Industry in Mauritius

Rajiv Babooram: Lead Professional at the Economic Development Board – Mauritius | Participation in-person in Johannesburg, South Africa

Mauritius, as an International Financial Centre is among the very few countries that has introduced a comprehensive legislation to regulate Virtual Assets, Virtual Assets Service Providers, and issuers of ITOs.

The introduction of the “Virtual Assets and Initial Token Offerings Services Act 2021” marks yet another milestone for the Mauritius International Financial Services Centre into the Virtual Assets Space.

Five classes of Virtual Assets Licenses have been introduced, namely, Virtual Asset Broker-Dealer, Virtual Asset Wallet Services, Virtual Assets Advisory Services, Virtual Assets Custody Services and Virtual Assets Marketplace Licence, providing the infrastructure to enable digital assets players to thrive in a well-regulated environment.

This new legislation is in line with FATF Recommendation 15, which requires VASPs to be regulated for AML and CFT purposes. Furthermore, Mauritius is the only country in Africa which is classified as “Compliant” or “largely Compliant” on all 40 FATF Standards. Since this new regulatory regime came into force in February 2022, the Financial Services Commission, regulator for non-banking and global business activities, has received numerous applications from leading digital assets companies.