Regulation of Crypto Assets in Mauritius: A Comprehensive Overview

Mauritius, a picturesque island nation located in the Indian Ocean, has emerged as a crypto-friendly destination, steadily embracing the growth and evolution of digital assets. In recent years, the country has made significant strides in regulating the crypto industry, establishing itself as a hub for fintech and blockchain innovation.

This article provides an in-depth look into the regulatory landscape for crypto assets in Mauritius, focusing on the key developments and the enactment of the Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offering Services Act 2021 (VAITOS Act).

Key Milestones in Crypto Asset Regulation

In response to the evolving nexus between technology and financial services, Mauritius has undertaken several regulatory measures to address the growing interest in crypto assets. Here are some pivotal milestones in the journey of crypto asset regulation in the country:

  • Recognition of Digital Assets (2018): In September 2018, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) issued a guidance note recognizing digital assets as an asset class for investment by sophisticated and expert investors. The Financial Services Commission is the regulatory authority responsible for the regulation, supervision and inspection of all financial services other than banking institutions and global business in Mauritius.
  • Custodian Services Regulation (2019): The FSC published the Financial Services (Custodian Services – Digital Asset) Rules 2019 (CDA Rules 2019) in the first quarter of 2019. These rules aimed to regulate the safekeeping of digital assets, providing an essential framework for security and protection.
  • Security Token Offerings (STOs) Guidelines: Addressing concerns from stakeholders regarding the regulatory approach to security token offerings, the FSC issued a guidance note in mid-2020 outlining a common set of standards for STOs and enabling the licensing of Security Token Trading Systems.
  • Fintech Service Provider (FSP) License Consultation (2021): In February 2021, the FSC released a consultation paper seeking feedback on the introduction of a regulatory framework for the Fintech Service Provider (FSP) license. This license aimed to supervise technology service providers looking to operate in or from Mauritius.
  • Enactment of the VAITOS Act (2021): All these regulatory efforts culminated in the passage of the Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offering Services Act 2021 at the end of 2021. The Act aligns with international standards and provides a comprehensive legislative framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and issuers of initial token offerings (ITOs). It officially came into force on February 7, 2022.

Regulatory Framework of the VAITOS Act

The VAITOS Act introduces a structured regulatory framework for the crypto industry in Mauritius. It provides clarity on key definitions, application, and regulatory responsibilities:


  • VASP: A virtual asset service provider conducting various activities, including exchange services, transfers, safekeeping, and provision of financial services related to virtual assets.
  • Virtual Asset: A digital representation of value that can be digitally traded, excluding fiat currencies and securities.
  • Virtual Asset Exchange (VAE): A platform facilitating the exchange of virtual assets, whether centralized or decentralized, within or outside Mauritius.

Application of the Act:

  • The Act applies to VASPs and issuers of ITOs conducting business activities within or from Mauritius.
  • Banks can engage in VASP activities with prior approval from the central bank (Bank of Mauritius).
  • It does not apply to digital currencies issued by central banks, financial assets, and non-transferable closed-loop items.

Regulatory and Supervisory Function of the FSC:

  • The FSC is responsible for regulating and supervising VASPs and issuers of ITOs, monitoring their business activities and providing guidance on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures.
  • The FSC promotes investor education, collaborates with the central bank for financial stability, conducts onsite inspections, and exchanges information with other relevant authorities.

Licensing of VASPs and Issuers of ITOs:

  • The Act introduces five classes of licenses (M, O, R, I, S) based on specific business activities.
  • VASPs must apply for the corresponding class of license based on their operations.
  • Foreign entities seeking to provide virtual asset services in Mauritius must incorporate a company in Mauritius.

Ongoing Responsibilities and Obligations:

  • VASPs and issuers of ITOs must maintain high standards of professional conduct, confidentiality, and financial solvency.
  • VASPs must ensure their controllers and officers meet the ‘fit and proper’ criteria.
  • Approval from the FSC is required for changes in shareholding and other modifications.

Financial Obligations:

  • VASPs must maintain a minimum stated unimpaired capital.
  • Separate accounts are required for client virtual assets, and audited financial statements must be filed annually.

Issuers of ITOs:

  • Issuers must register with the FSC if they operate in or from Mauritius.
  • Disclosure of accurate information in white papers is mandatory.
  • Purchasers have certain rights, and any material misrepresentation may lead to legal action.


Mauritius has demonstrated its commitment to fostering innovation in fintech and regtech through the enactment of the VAITOS Act. This comprehensive regulatory framework provides a solid foundation for the crypto industry to thrive while ensuring the highest standards of security, transparency, and financial integrity.

As Mauritius continues to build its reputation as a hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation, it remains open to innovative projects through initiatives like the Regulatory Sandbox Licence. The country is making significant strides in the blockchain space, focusing on education, community building, and solving real-world problems through blockchain technology.

The regulation of crypto assets in Mauritius is a prime example of how a forward-thinking approach to fintech and blockchain can lead to economic growth and financial stability, setting the stage for Mauritius to be known as the “Ethereum Island” and a leader in the blockchain space.