Transparency and Accountability: The Register of License Holders under Namibia’s Virtual Assets Act 10 of 2023

In the dynamic landscape of virtual assets, Namibia’s Virtual Assets Act 10 of 2023 introduces a critical tool for transparency and accountability—the Register of License Holders.

Section 10 of the Act outlines the establishment, maintenance, and accessibility of this register, emphasizing the Regulatory Authority’s commitment to providing clear information about entities operating in the virtual asset space.

Comprehensive Information Repository:

Inclusive Data Collection:

The cornerstone of the Register of License Holders is its comprehensive nature. According to Section 10(1), the register must include essential information for each license holder, covering aspects such as the full name, class of license, virtual asset services provided, registered office or place of business, issuance and expiry dates of the license, the principal contact person’s details, and any other pertinent information deemed necessary by the Regulatory Authority.

Publication on the Regulatory Authority’s Website:

Online Accessibility:

Recognizing the importance of widespread access to information, Section 10(2) mandates the Regulatory Authority to publish and regularly update the register on its official website. This online repository serves as a transparent source for stakeholders, the public, and interested parties to stay informed about the status and particulars of license holders in the virtual asset sector.

Public Inspection and Accessibility:

Open to Public Inspection:

To foster transparency and accountability, Section 10(3) ensures that the Register of License Holders is open to the public for inspection during office hours. This provision aligns with the broader philosophy of ensuring that regulatory processes are accessible and understandable to the general public.

Request-Based Availability:

Moreover, copies of the register must be made available to any person upon request. This approach ensures that stakeholders and interested parties have the means to obtain detailed information about license holders, promoting a culture of openness and accessibility.

Empowering Stakeholders and Enhancing Trust:

Facilitating Informed Decision-Making:

The Register of License Holders serves as a valuable resource for various stakeholders, including potential investors, clients, and regulatory bodies. By providing detailed and up-to-date information about license holders, the register enables stakeholders to make informed decisions and assess the credibility and legitimacy of virtual asset service providers.

Preventing Illicit Activities:

Transparent disclosure of license holders and their activities is a crucial tool in preventing illicit activities within the virtual asset space. The open nature of the register acts as a deterrent, fostering a culture of compliance and responsible conduct.

Conclusion:

Namibia’s Virtual Assets Act 10 of 2023, through the establishment of the Register of License Holders, exemplifies the commitment to transparency, accountability, and informed decision-making within the virtual asset ecosystem. By making crucial information accessible to the public and stakeholders, the Regulatory Authority sets a standard for regulatory practices that balance the need for innovation with the necessity of oversight.

As the virtual asset industry continues to evolve, the Register of License Holders stands as a pillar of trust and transparency, contributing to the sustained growth and credibility of the virtual asset sector in Namibia.