Mauritius’ Cryptocurrency Regulatory Landscape Prior to 2024

Mauritius, known for its picturesque landscapes and burgeoning fintech sector, has actively engaged in developing a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies. This framework, guided by a series of strategic milestones and the enactment of the Virtual Asset and Initial Token Offering Services Act 2021 (VAITOS Act), illustrates the country’s commitment to fostering a secure and innovative digital asset industry.

Pivotal Milestones in Regulation

Recognition and Regulation of Digital Assets: In September 2018, the Financial Services Commission (FSC) of Mauritius recognized digital assets as an investable asset class for sophisticated and expert investors. This move was followed by the publication of the Financial Services (Custodian Services – Digital Asset) Rules 2019, which aimed to regulate the safekeeping of digital assets, thereby providing a vital framework for security and protection.

Guidelines for Security Token Offerings: In 2020, the FSC issued guidance for security token offerings (STOs), setting common standards and facilitating the licensing of Security Token Trading Systems. This was part of Mauritius’ efforts to address stakeholder concerns and regulatory approaches to STOs.

Fintech Service Provider License Consultation: In 2021, the FSC sought feedback on the introduction of a regulatory framework for Fintech Service Provider (FSP) licenses, aimed at supervising technology service providers operating in or from Mauritius.

Enactment of the VAITOS Act: The culmination of these regulatory efforts was the passage of the VAITOS Act in late 2021, which came into force on February 7, 2022. This Act aligned with international standards and provided a comprehensive legislative framework for virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and issuers of initial token offerings (ITOs)​​.

The VAITOS Act: A Structured Regulatory Framework

The VAITOS Act introduced a structured regulatory framework for the crypto industry in Mauritius. It clarified key definitions, applications, and regulatory responsibilities:

VASPs and Virtual Asset Exchanges: Defined as entities conducting various activities, including exchange services and safekeeping of virtual assets. The Act also defined Virtual Asset Exchanges (VAEs) as platforms facilitating the exchange of virtual assets.

Application and Scope: The Act applied to VASPs and ITO issuers conducting business within or from Mauritius. It allowed banks to engage in VASP activities with approval from the Bank of Mauritius, while explicitly not applying to digital currencies issued by central banks and other specified financial assets.

FSC’s Regulatory and Supervisory Role: The FSC was responsible for regulating and supervising VASPs and ITO issuers, including monitoring their business activities and providing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing guidance. The FSC also played a role in investor education and collaborated with the central bank for financial stability.

Licensing and Ongoing Obligations: The Act introduced various classes of licenses based on specific business activities, with stringent criteria for maintaining high standards of professional conduct, confidentiality, and financial solvency. VASPs and ITO issuers were required to maintain minimum unimpaired capital and adhere to specific financial obligations, including annual filing of audited financial statements​​.


Mauritius’ proactive approach to regulating crypto assets, exemplified by the VAITOS Act, highlights its commitment to innovation in fintech and regtech. The country’s regulatory framework provides a solid foundation for the crypto industry to flourish while ensuring high standards of security, transparency, and financial integrity. As Mauritius continues to evolve as a hub for blockchain and cryptocurrency innovation, its regulatory environment sets the stage for significant economic growth and financial stability in the digital asset sector​​.

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