Argentine Chamber of Fintech proposes guidelines to regulate bitcoin according to FATF guide

Key facts:
  • According to the Chamber, Argentina must comply with the FATF, to avoid poor results in its evaluation.

  • He believes that bitcoin exchanges must know their customers, monitor and report transactions.

The Argentine Chamber of Fintech published a document that collects its ideas on the aspects that should be taken into consideration for an eventual regulation of bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies. The document highlights that the rules on the matter in the southern country must be framed with the recommendations of the International Financial Action Group (FATF).

According to text, published on the Chamber’s website this Tuesday, December 14, a regulation of the Argentine market of services with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies requires the creation of a “national law”. That is why they developed a proposal for guidelines that, they believe, are essential for providers of this type of service to be able to have clarity regarding their obligations, responsibilities and powers.

Among the objectives of their proposal, they point out that a future regulatory reorganization will make it possible to capitalize on global opportunities in the sector, attract investment, and prevent illicit activities. Especially, those stipulated in the PLAFT regulations (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing), issued by the FATF.

As reported by CriptoNoticias, at the end of last October the FATF published the revised version of its “Guide for a risk-based approach for virtual assets and virtual asset service providers”, on which it had been working since mid-2019. An intergovernmental body, which groups together about 40 countries, is in charge of developing policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

The Argentine Chamber of Fintech hopes that Argentina has regulations for the bitcoin industry aligned with the FATF recommendations.

Argentine Fintech Chamber prefers to avoid unfavorable FATF ratings

The Fintech Chamber emphasizes that it is necessary to take into account that Argentina is a full member of the FATF. In his opinion, “it is strategic” to comply with the recommendations made by this body to avoid adverse results in reviews and supervision.

As indicated, it would be imminent for the FATF to supervise the implementation of the new requirements in Argentina, since it was scheduled for 2020, but it had to be suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We consider that the recognition of PSAV [proveedores de servicios de activos virtuales] as Obliged Subjects before the Financial Information Unit (FIU) would allow adapting local regulations to the recommendations of the GAFI.

Argentine Chamber of Fintech.

The foregoing implies that the FIU would monitor that the bitcoin and other cryptocurrency exchanges in Argentina implement know-your-customer (KYC) practices, monitor, record and report operations, and implement a PLAFT system, among other obligations required by the FATF.

Other guidelines highlighted by the Argentine Chamber of Fintech, focus on the express recognition of the legality of the virtual assets industry in that country, the establishment of a registry for bitcoin and other cryptocurrency service providers (also recommended by the FATF) and the duty of confidentiality homologated with the «bank secrecy».

FATF Recommendations Have Been Questioned By The Bitcoin Community

Notably, as reported by CriptoNoticias, organizations such as the Coin Center, a research center focused on public policy on cryptocurrencies, have pointed out fundamental deficiencies in the FATF guidance.

The Coin Center warned in late October that several of the guide’s definitions could “have serious human rights implications.” Even after updating the document, the researchers believe that the legislators of the member countries would struggle to set clear limits on regulation of cryptocurrencies, if they are based on the FATF guidance.

In the social network Twitter, several users described the proposal of the Argentine Chamber of Fintech as a capitulation to the FATF. “In the end they work against the ecosystem”, tweeted the user @hixst, while another with the nickname @radhios, he claimed that the proposal will only manage to promote P2P exchanges.

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Argentine Chamber of Fintech proposes guidelines to regulate bitcoin according to FATF guide

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