CRYPTO EXCHANGE | ‘We Are Not Satisfied Being the Largest in Africa,’ Says VALR CEO as He Plots Global Expansion

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VALR is among the 75 crypto asset service providers recently authorized by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) to operate in South Africa

Established in 2018, VALR provides a range of services including:

  • Spot trading
  • Margin trading
  • Perpetual futures, and
  • Staking products

With a customer base exceeding 600,000 retail clients and over 1,000 institutional customers, VALR serves both the domestic South African market and a global clientele.

According to Ehsani, about 75% of its customers are from South Africa while 25% are from all over the world. VALR wants to increase this share of clients from outside South Africa.

Ehsani disclosed that VALR has received approval to provide crypto asset services in Poland. Additionally, the exchange has secured initial approval from Dubai’s regulator VARA and is currently in the licensing process in Mauritius.

“The intention here is to be able to provide products and services to a global audience that is continuously growing,” he said.

The intention is to actually become a global player because we’re not satisfied with being the largest in Africa (by trading volume).

Where there is regulatory clarity in other jurisdictions, VALR will look for licences there as well, including in Africa where Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and Egypt are on its radar.

VALR had been closely considering Nigeria as a potential market for expansion. However, earlier this year [2024], Nigerian authorities implemented a country-wide crackdown on crypto exchanges, most notably Binance. This crackdown, attributed to the role of exchanges in facilitating a black market for foreign exchange, resulted in Nigerian authorities blocking access to crypto exchanges

“We’ve said until there’s clarity, we won’t go there (Nigeria),” Ehsani said.

In order to take on some of the big crypto giants globally such as Binance, the exchange will look to offer similar products and services as them, and “in the future we’ll look to things like insurance,” Ehsani said.

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