The non-government organization Bitcoin Argentina has presented a draft bill aimed at regulating the cryptocurrency market in Argentina while preserving decentralization and enhancing public trust. Bitcoin Argentina, which had previously rejected the idea of regulating the cryptocurrency industry, now asserts that regulation is necessary to safeguard the blockchain and hold bad actors accountable.
The proposed legal framework, pitched by Bitcoin Argentina’s president Ricardo Mihura at LABITCONF 2023 in Buenos Aires, categorizes cryptocurrency platforms and service providers into three groups: decentralized, local centralized or willing to engage with authorities, and global centralized. The goal is to ascertain property rights and provide the broadest possible judicial protection for customers.
Platforms falling under the two centralized categories would be allowed to operate freely, but customers would have the right to claim damages in case of company failures. The legal framework suggests that Argentina’s judiciary will not intervene in the failures of decentralized platforms, and courts will determine a platform’s decentralization when addressing claims from allegedly injured customers.
Ricardo Mihura emphasized the need for a nuanced approach, stating that an outright ban on cryptocurrencies wouldn’t be effective given the global nature of blockchain. He mentioned that even the United States cannot effectively prohibit the operation of the unlicensed cryptoeconomy, and Argentina, with its inflation crisis, should focus on proposing the best regulatory measures that the law can offer its citizens.
Mihura argued against a top-down ban, stating, “Argentina has no possibility of prohibiting its residents from operating in global environments, so we believe that it does not make sense to propose a top-down ban and we choose to propose the best that the law can offer to its citizens.” The proposed bill aims to address not only those directly responsible but also everyone in the marketing chain of fraud, up to the final victim.
This move comes ahead of Argentina’s presidential run-off election between Sergio Massa, the country’s economy minister, and Javier Milei, an economist turned politician advocating for the abolition of Argentina’s central bank and the adoption of the United States dollar. Argentina is currently grappling with a severe inflation crisis, recording one of the highest annual inflation rates globally at 121.7% over the last 12 months.