Argentina Regulator Outlines Plans to Police Crypto Exchanges

The top Argentinian financial regulator says it plans to “supervise” the Latin American nation’s crypto service providers.

The National Securities Commission (CNV) said on March 18 that it would “proceed” to police the nation’s trading platforms.

It will also create a national registry of crypto platforms, which will likely need to apply for operating licenses.

Argentina Regulator Keen to ‘Comply with FATF Regulations’

The CVM’s move comes four days after the Argentine Senate “approved the creation of a registry of cryptocurrency service providers,” Criptonoticias reported.

The media outlet previously reported that senators had “caved in” to the demands of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The CNV wrote that it was “working to adapt and implement the scope” of a law that will see exchanges forced to adopt “prevention of money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism” protocols.

The measures will also see the CNV appointed as the body that “supervises, regulates, inspects, and sanctions” the nation’s crypto platforms.

FATF Grey List Warning

The Senate and CNV moves follow a visit from FATF officials earlier this month. The FATF has reportedly told Argentina government officials that the nation risks ending up on its “grey list” if it fails to police its crypto sector.

Crypto ownership has shot up in Argentina in recent years due to spiraling inflation. New President Javier Milei has responded with austerity measures aimed at addressing inflation. He has also devalued the peso, winning IMF approval in the process.

Argentina’s monthly inflation slowed for a second consecutive time as President Javier Milei’s austerity measures push the economy into recession https://t.co/eLXX06NSVE

— Bloomberg Markets (@markets) March 12, 2024

However, confidence in the fiat peso is at an all-time low. Milei pledged prior to his election to ditch the peso in favor of the US dollar.

And with USD buying caps restricting citizens, many have taken to crypto, hoping coins will provide a safe store of value.

This appears to have caught the attention of the FATF, however. And with Buenos Aires still beholden to the IMF’s support for its economic survival, Milei can ill-afford to let the nation fall onto the grey list.

Consumers in Argentine are running out of options to shield themselves from runaway price increases as Javier Milei’s austerity measures send the country deeper into recession https://t.co/riNMi79lKp

— Bloomberg (@business) March 4, 2024

New Rules Will Restrict Access, Critics Warn

Criptonoticias quoted Sonia Salvatierra, a member of the regulatory body’s board of directors, as stating that “for the CNV, it is very important to comply with the FATF report.”

She added that the Argentina regulator was focused on “meeting goals” with “the objective of strengthening and promoting the development of the Argentine capital market.”

In a Medium post, the president of the crypto pressure group Bitcoin Argentina Ricardo Mihura warned that the new crypto regulations would “restrict access to the cryptoasset market.” He wrote:

“[Crypto] has been a refuge of value and guarantee for freedom for thousands of savers and freelance workers during years of inflation and arbitrary monetary restriction measures.”

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