Regulators have quietly barred cryptocurrency developers from having access to a tax incentive aimed at spurring innovation in SA. It is likely to hinder the country’s chances of being at the forefront of the fledgling digital money market. But some say SA has far bigger things to worry about: Africa’s most advanced economy appears uninterested in experimenting with blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies and is slated to have a bright future in almost every industry. Partly thanks to bitcoin’s torrid year in 2018 (prices slumped 72%), blockchain is starting to seize the limelight from the broader crypto market. In SA, that trend could be accelerated because authorities have sent the signal that they want no part in stimulating cryptocurrency innovation. Digital currencies have been categorised as "financial instruments" in the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, which means start-ups, incubators and other companies that develop cryptocurrencies in SA can no longer claim a...

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