Argentina Implements Mandatory Registry for Bitcoin and Crypto Trading

Twitter icon  •  Published 2 weeks ago  •  Nikolas Sargeant

Critics are raising concerns over Argentina's stance on Bitcoin despite the president's assurances to uphold libertarian principles.

The Argentine government has unveiled a new regulatory initiative targeting local crypto entities, mandating their registration with a specialized regulatory body or facing cessation of operations.

On March 14, the Argentine Senate passed legislation endorsing the establishment of the Registry of Virtual Asset Service Providers, aligning with recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force.

Increased Regulation in Argentina?

The National Securities Commission (CNV) of Argentina announced the creation of this registry on March 26, citing the necessity to "identify individuals and entities involved in providing crypto asset-related services within the nation."

This encompasses entities facilitating cryptocurrency transactions such as buying, selling, trading, lending, transmitting, or receiving.

CNV President Roberto E. Silva emphasized, "Non-compliant entities will be barred from operating within the country."

The objective is to bolster compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing regulations, a priority echoed by crypto watchdogs globally, including in the United States.

However, the shift towards stringent regulation in Argentina has surprised many in the crypto sphere, particularly given the country's new leader, Javier Miliei, who champions small-government libertarianism.

Francis Pouliot, CEO of Bull Bitcoin, expressed bewilderment, tweeting, "Javier Milei is taking a starkly different path from what is expected of a 'pro-bitcoin' libertarian. Frankly, I find this very perplexing and out of character."

Initially perceived as an ally by the crypto community due to shared criticisms of central banking, Miliei has not explicitly advocated for pro-Bitcoin policies but has acknowledged Bitcoin's significance, describing it as "the return of money to its original creator: the private sector."

Bitcoin's Role as a Currency

While stringent anti-money laundering regulations regarding crypto are commonplace today, Manuel Ferrari, co-founder of the Money On Chain protocol, deems the creation of a registry for Bitcoin exchange platforms a "misguided idea."

"Bitcoin is currency, not a security," Ferrari stated in an interview with Forbes. "It's as nonsensical as requiring currency exchange bureaus dealing with dollars or euros, or shops trading gold, to register with the CNV."

Beginning in December, Argentina's Minister of Foreign Affairs confirmed the country's repeal of legal tender laws, permitting contracts and payments to be settled in any chosen currency, including Bitcoin.

Amidst the digital currency's surge to record highs above $70,000 last month, many Argentinian citizens turned to Bitcoin, seeking refuge from the rapid depreciation of the Argentine peso, which exhibited an annual inflation rate of 276% as of February.

Author

Nikolas Sargeant

Nik is a content and public relations specialist with an ever-growing interest in Crypto. He has been published on several leading Crypto and blockchain based news sites. He is currently based in Spain, but hails from the Pacific Northwest in the US.