Sygnia Asset Management, a major investment firm in South Africa, has announced that it will launch a cryptocurrency exchange later this year.
Regional business news outlet BusinessTech reports that the firm, which currently has R180.6 billion ($14.5 billion) in assets under management (AUM), plans to open the exchange — called SygniaCoin — during the third quarter of this year.
“We aim to launch SygniaCoin, a cryptocurrency exchange, in the third quarter of 2018,” said Sygnia CEO Magda Wierzycka. “The cryptocurrency market is evolving at a rapid pace internationally and domestically, and is attracting both domestic and international flows.”
“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.”
Wierzycka said that SygniaCoin will base its operational and security policies on the BitLicense framework adopted by New York state’s Department of Financial Services (NYDFS), which is considered to be one of the most rigorous regulatory regimes governing cryptocurrency exchanges. This, she explained, will enable it to better serve institutional investors.
In addition to trading, Sygnia will offer traders the ability to hold cryptocurrencies in their Sygnia accounts alongside their other investments. The company will also create a dedicated fund that will invest in a range of cryptocurrencies on behalf of investors.
As CCN reported, South Africa’s central bank has yet to outline a clear policy on cryptocurrencies, which it refers to as “cyber-tokens.” However, Wierzycka said that she expects the government to establish more robust guidelines in the future.
Interest in cryptocurrencies among South Africans has boomed in recent months, even as the market has experienced a general downtrend. A recent survey found that 47 percent of South Africans who have not yet invested in cryptocurrencies plan to do so in the future, either directly or through proxy investments in companies that operate cryptocurrency mining farms.