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Argentina Demands Crypto Exchanges Register: How Does This Fit in With Javier Milei’s Ethos? 

Published April 3, 2024 2:02 PM
Shraddha Sharma
Published April 3, 2024 2:02 PM
By Shraddha Sharma
Verified by Peter Henn

Key Takeaways

  • Argentina has introduced mandatory registration for crypto exchanges.
  • The move raised questions about President Javier Milei’s libertarian crypto stance.
  • The IMF previously backed the economic reforms introduced by President Javier Milei’s new government.

Argentina was anticipated to be the next crypto economy after El Salvador given the high adoption. Javier Milei was elected as a pro-Bitcoin president who has criticized the country’s central bank amid sky-high inflation. However, the Comisión Nacional de Valores (CNV) has introduced a new registry for virtual asset service providers, sparking debate.

Mandatory Crypto Registration

Argentina’s financial sector regulator, CNV, recently announced  the Registry of Virtual Asset Service Providers (Proveedores de Servicios de Activos Virtuales: PSAV). It marked a shift in Argentina’s libertarian approach to cryptocurrencies. According to the translated release, the registry requires all crypto-related entities to submit personal data to legally operate within the country.

The new regulatory announcement came on March 25, with Roberto E. Silva, President of the CNV, emphasizing that unregistered entities cannot operate within the country.

The regulation aims to address money laundering and terrorism financing concerns, aligning with global standards set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). However, it also introduces a layer of bureaucracy that seems at odds with the libertarian values of Milei’s administration.

Argentine economist and foreign minister Diana Mondino disclosed in an earlier tweet that the nation has enacted a decree allowing for the settlement of contracts using Bitcoin.

Milei’s Economic Overhaul

Javier Milei’s presidency promised an overhaul of Argentina’s financial system. It looked to move toward dollarization and embrace Bitcoin. Considering the high crypto adoption in Argentina on the back of the country’s inflationary concerns, it was called the next El Salvador. However, Milei is seeking a balance between innovation and regulation while stabilizing Argentina’s economy.

Broadcaster and crypto commentator Max Keiser has voiced concerns over Milei’s approach to lumping Bitcoin with other cryptocurrencies, suggesting it could set back his agenda.

In February, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called Milei’s approach to economic reforms “bold.” Before negotiations to secure a $4.7 billion debt restructuring plan, Milei devalued  the Peso by around 50% to adjust the economy.

Back in 2023, in line with the IMF’s call for strict crypto regulation, the Argentine central bank prohibited  payment service providers from conducting unauthorized crypto transactions.

Balancing Regulations With Bitcoin Acceptance

Argentina seems to be on a new regulatory path which has divided the crypto community. More than being a global crypto economy, Argentina’s administration is focusing on controlling an inflationary economy. Therefore, efforts of compliance have become part of the deal as the IMF watches closely.

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