Crypto Firms in Argentina Now Subject to Registration Requirements

Last Updated on April 3, 2024

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Key Takeaways:

  • Argentina’s CNV mandates cryptocurrency exchanges to register with the government, adhering to FATF recommendations to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.
  • The regulation change, backed by CNV President Roberto Silva, prohibits unregistered crypto service providers from operating in Argentina, intensifying the crackdown initiated by recent legal amendments.
  • Despite regulatory uncertainties, demand for Bitcoin in Argentina spikes, alongside President Javier Milei’s pro-Bitcoin stance, amidst mixed signals about the future of cryptocurrencies in the country.

Argentina’s government is actively setting in motion requirements for cryptocurrency exchanges to operate legitimately within its jurisdiction.

Announced on March 25, the country’s Comisión Nacional de Valores (CNV), analogous to a securities regulatory body, outlined that virtual asset service providers must now align with recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

This move necessitates certain crypto service providers to register with the Argentine government, marking a significant step in the reform of the nation’s Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) regulations.

The drive towards regulating crypto providers gained momentum on March 14, following the Senate’s approval to amend laws targeting money laundering and terrorism financing prevention.

CNV President Roberto Silva explicitly stated that unregistered virtual asset service providers would be barred from operating within Argentina.

This regulatory shift precedes the election of Javier Milei as Argentina’s president in November 2023.

Milei, celebrated by many in the crypto community for his apparent pro-Bitcoin stance, now sees the implementation of FATF recommendations sparking concerns regarding the future of digital assets in the country.

Despite these apprehensions, the demand for Bitcoin in Argentina has soared, reaching a peak not seen in nearly two years.

Recent reports have highlighted disruptions in crypto-based financial activities; users of Strike, a popular app in Argentina for Bitcoin transactions via the Lightning network, found themselves unable to transfer fiat to bank accounts.

The full impact of the new requirements on local businesses and consumers remains uncertain.

However, in December 2023, Argentina’s foreign affairs minister mentioned that contracts could now be settled using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Amid these developments, President Milei made a public appearance on April 2, speaking at a ceremony commemorating Malvinas Day, which honors the lives lost during the Falklands War in 1982.

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