The many challenges facing Africa is a sign that innovation is one of the solutions required. I once wrote a piece, which goes by the title: Why the Rest Of The World Should Care About Innovations In Africa.
This article reaffirms my claim and goes ahead to advise our governments to support innovations. One of the few proactive African authorities, the Mauritius Government, is an example, as they are extending their regulatory sandbox to the Blockchain.
Now, you can hear what is called Mauritius Blockchain Regulatory Sandbox. Although the regulatory sandbox is a breakthrough for Fintechs in Mauritius, it goes a long way to support innovations in various cadres through financial inclusion.
What Is A Sandbox
Before telling you the steps the Mauritius government has taken through its Economic Development Board and the Financial Service Commission are doing, let’s understand what is a regulatory sandbox. Moreover, what the Mauritius Blockchain regulatory sandbox means to Fintech.
Also read: Blockchain use cases in Africa.
Imagine a financial service provider who has a great concept and a solution-driven MVP; his thoughts will be how to get funding. Good a thing, an angel investor who sees the potential of his product, agreed to provide the necessary funding.
However, It will frustrate him and the investor, to hear that the government’s regulations will not allow the idea to materialize. Moreover, it discourages other investors to invest in Africa.
A regulatory sandbox is a safe space for Fintech startup to conduct a live test with the temporal and adjusting regulatory framework, order than the authoritative regulations. The Mauritius Blockchain regulatory sandbox is a window to improve rules for Fintech startups.
The move will help startups to realize their potential as well as an opportunity to hit the market. It allocates space, time, and reach to startups to operate in nonauthoritative regulations.
The Mauritius’ Strategy
In the same vein, the Mauritius Blockchain regulatory sandbox is one of the government’s approaches to establish itself as the African Fintech hub. It will interest you to know that the government has been helping Fintechs thrive, before extending the regulatory sandbox to digital assets.
In affirmation to the Mauritius government’s commitment to supporting startup, the manager of Economic Development Board, (EDB) Doomun Doomun, said the organization is drafting a regulatory framework to oversee peer-to-peer crowdfunding. In other words, Mauritius will be one of the first countries to legalize crowdfunding for digital assets.
Further, Harvesh Seegolam, the CEO at Financial Service Commission, confirmed that the new Mauritius Blockchain regulation sandbox requires digital assets custodians to comply with international best practices. These, for instance, include anti-money laundering, Know Your Customer and criminal financial terrorism.
Mauritius Africa Fintech Hub
The Mauritius African Fintech Hub (MAFH) is building an enabling environment for companies to take advantage of the Sandbox. The goal is to create a Pan African Fintech Ecosystem through open collaboration.
It is a fast-growing ecosystem where entrepreneurs, corporations, governments, tech experts, investors, financial service providers, universities and research institutions can cooperate to build cutting-edge solutions for the emerging African market. MAFH focus is paving the way for international FinTech companies and financial service providers to access the African market.
Beneficiaries Of Sandbox License
Since 2017, the Mauritius government has enacted the regulatory sandbox, with Fundkiss, as its first beneficiary. While they kept working to formalize the blockchain regulatory sandbox, the government can boast of issuing a license to more than 16 Fintechs.
Below are the lists of some of the regulatory sandbox licenses granted by Mauritius government:
It is an online peer-to-peer lending platform that allows people and corporate organizations to lend money directly to small and medium businesses in Mauritius.
The Self-Key platform helps individuals as well as companies to truly own, control, and manage their digital identity. It as well allows people to manage their Cryptocurrency portfolio securely.
The platform combines Robo-advisory fund management, Blockchain-backed custodian, and conventional funds.
This startup is developing a Crypto-asset exchange for individuals in Mauritius
Salt provides an avenue through which holders of digital assets can access cash loans using their assets as collateral
- Be Mobile
It is a platform that serves as a digital wallet that permits individuals to make cash deposits. You can also top up with existing bank account as well as remit cash overseas.
This Blockchain-based project hopes to improve the accessibility of Cryptocurrency and other related technologies.
A financial technology company which aims to serve as an online crowdfunding gateway for entrepreneurs to raise capital for new startups as well as business expansion.
Finclub is a P2P platform that strives to provide an alternative mode of borrowing funds that involves a competitive and affordable rate agreed after a matching process between investors.
Mauritius is setting the pace when it comes to providing enabling environments for Blockchain-based business in Africa. This government is doing a great job to help the proliferation of Blockchain technology in the continent, however other governments are advised to follow suit.
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