Sars looking at tracking Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency trades: report

 ·14 Dec 2017

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) is in discussions with a number of technology companies to enable it to track cryptocurrency trades more efficiently.

According to a report by Moneyweb, the rise of cryptocurrency use in the country combined with the continued threat to Sars’ revenue collection has led the revenue collector to actively look at these types of trades.

“As you can imagine it is very difficult – the blockchain technology. Without revealing too much – we are talking to some of the top technology companies in the world that are doing similar work for Canada and the UK and we are hoping to get that technology,” said Dr Randall Carolissen, Sars group executive for research.

Carolissen said Sars is working through the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) recommendations, which include quite detailed information on how cryptocurrencies should be treated.

He said that Sars hadn’t received any major crpytocurrency declaration until this point.

Reserve Bank involvement

Speaking to BusinessTech in July, Loerien Gamaroff, CEO of blockchain based solutions provider Bankymoon, said that the company is currently in talks with the central bank and has been selected as its first sandbox (experimental) business to trial-run new regulations.

Gamaroff said that he had already been in regular contact with the Sarb for some time, and had conducted a number of workshops and seminars around cryptocurrencies and their use in the South African market. He had also been called in as part of an investigation into alternative currencies in the country.

“All we are doing at this point is seeing how far this relationship will go on within this sandbox,” he said at the time.

“This is because the Reserve Bank is very hesitant to give a stamp of approval on anything that comes out. The sandbox will only be Bitcoin-focused during this initial phase, but is focused on applying broad regulations to all cryptocurrencies,” he said.

Read: Reserve Bank to begin testing Bitcoin and cryptocurrency regulations

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