Argentina Announces Mandatory Registry For Bitcoin And Crypto Trading

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The government of Argentina is calling on all local crypto firms to register with its new regulatory body dedicated to the sector – or to cease operating entirely.

On March 14, the nation’s senate passed legislation approving the Registry of Virtual Asset Service Providers, in line with recommendations from the Financial Action Task Force.

More Regulation In Argentina?

Argentina’s National Securities Commission (CNV) announced the registry’s creation on March 26, saying the regulations are required to “identify the human and legal persons that provide services related to cryptoassets in the country.”

That includes businesses allowing customers to buy, sell, trade, lend, send, or receive cryptocurrency.

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“Those who are not registered will not be able to operate in the country,” said CNV President Roberto E. Silva on the matter.

The goal is to advance compliance with anti-money laundering and terrorist financing laws, which is a top objective among crypto watchdogs in the United States and elsewhere.

However, many crypto leaders are surprised to see such a strong pivot towards regulation from Argentina – a nation whose new leader, Javier Miliei, is a booster of small-government libertarianism.

“Javier Milei is going the exact opposite route expected of a “pro-bitcoin” libertarian,” tweeted Bull Bitcoin CEO Francis Pouliot on Sunday. “Frankly I find this very confusing and out of character.”

The crypto industry was quick to view Milei as an ally thanks to both parties’ recognition of central banking as a common enemy. While not having explicitly advocated for any pro-Bitcoin policies, the politician has called Bitcoin’s emergence “the return of money to its original creator: the private sector.”

Bitcoin As A Currency

While strict AML rules around crypto are hardly unusual today, Money On Chain protocol co-founder Manuel Ferrari said creating a registry for Bitcoin exchange platforms is a “terrible idea.”

“Bitcoin is money, not a security,” he told Forbes in an interview. “It’s as wrong as if currency exchange houses for dollars or euros or shops where gold is bought and sold had to register with the CNV. It’s complete nonsense.”

Starting in December, Argentina’s minister of foreign affairs confirmed that the nation had scrapped the country’s legal tender laws, enabling contracts and payments to be settled in any currency of choice – including Bitcoin.

Many of the nation’s citizens began fleeing to Bitcoin last month as the digital currency’s value soared to new all-time highs above $70,000. Meanwhile, the Argentinian peso continues to rapidly lose value, boasting an annual inflation rate of 276% as of February.

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