Sunday, August 14

Argentina intensifies controls on cryptocurrency and exchange savers

Key facts:
  • The authorities ask companies to report users who move a lot of money.

  • Businessmen in the sector see a “witch hunt” and ask not to regulate against technologies.

The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) and the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP) are collecting information on people who operate with cryptocurrencies in the country. In addition, they seek to closely monitor the activities of exchanges and have even ordered the closure of bank accounts to these companies.

The requests for data and notifications from both organizations to exchange houses and crypto companies in general date back several weeks and even months, as confirmed by various sources in the field to CriptoNoticias.

Despite the fact that the firms consulted by this means assured not having had problems with the regulatory bodies, a iProup article mention that there are at least five companies in the sector that had their bank accounts closed. This would be due to a directive from the BCRA to banks, with the aim of discouraging the proliferation of this type of companies, especially those that do not comply with the country’s legal requirements.

According to the aforementioned media, in Argentina there are about two million user accounts on cryptocurrency platforms. With regard to companies, these would already be approximately 50, although the Argentine Chamber of Fintech has only 25 of them registered.

To “cut” this unregulated growth, the Central Bank began to request information later this year. What’s more, By directive of this parent entity, the accounts of many exchanges were closed, which complicates the realization of the services they provide to their customers. One participant in this sector sees the move as a “witch hunt” with exchanges as the main target.

Cryptocurrency savers, also closely watched

Beyond the controls on Argentine exchange houses, the AFIP also focuses on the holders of cryptocurrencies. As CriptoNoticias has detailed, the BCRA director himself, Miguel Pesce, assured that The Central Bank’s mission is to ensure that crypto assets are not used to avoid exchange laws in the country.

Likewise, although Pesce stated at the time that the interoperability between banks and digital payment platforms was being studied, the BCRA does not want crypto companies to enter this field.

Although there were no changes in the laws, the control organisms harden their position in Argentina.
Source: elsapucai /

In this context, the government asked crypto firms that report on those users who move large sums of money in its operations with cryptocurrencies. This constitutes a violation of people’s privacy, one of the fundamental principles in the ecosystem.

However, given that these companies are subjects of information for the AFIP and the BCRA, they do not have much to do. In fact, the documents they present have the character of an affidavit, according to the aforementioned portal.

How to live from the inside

The CEO of an Argentine exchange consulted by CriptoNoticias assured that he sees “a market that, by global guidelines, tends to be more strict and adjusted in the prevention of money laundering.” However, he said: «I do not see well the position of the banks or the way in which they handle certain policies of the BCRA. They should not regulate against new technologies, on the contrary, they should do so in such a way that they are promoted, since they are a benefit for society.

“Hopefully, with some vision from the BCRA, we will achieve an equal market for all participants and so that the end consumer can operate without banking pressure,” said this same person.

A new crypto bill is expected to enter the National Congress before the end of the year. At the moment, there is no information in this regard, although there were previous initiatives that did not come to fruition, but they could be used as a basis to discuss a regulation in this area in the near future.