Argentinian Financial Regulator to Oversee Crypto Platforms Amid FATF Pressure

The National Securities Commission (CNV) of Argentina has announced its intent to regulate the nation’s cryptocurrency service providers, marking a significant shift in oversight within the Latin American country’s crypto sector.

On March 18, the CNV revealed its plans to actively supervise Argentina’s trading platforms, signaling a proactive approach to enforcing regulatory compliance within the burgeoning crypto industry. As part of these efforts, the CNV will establish a national registry of crypto platforms, with operators likely required to obtain operating licenses to continue their activities legally.

This move follows closely on the heels of the Argentine Senate’s approval of legislation to create a registry of cryptocurrency service providers, a decision reportedly influenced by pressure from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). With FATF officials warning of potential repercussions, including placement on the organization’s “grey list,” Argentina faces increasing scrutiny to implement robust anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing protocols in its crypto sector.

The surge in cryptocurrency ownership in Argentina, driven by soaring inflation rates and diminishing confidence in the fiat peso, has underscored the need for regulatory oversight to safeguard investors and maintain financial stability. President Javier Milei’s austerity measures and peso devaluation have further fueled interest in cryptocurrencies as a hedge against economic uncertainty, prompting heightened attention from global regulatory bodies like the FATF.

However, critics caution that the proposed regulations may inadvertently restrict access to the crypto market, potentially undermining its role as a haven for value preservation and individual financial freedom. Ricardo Mihura, president of the crypto advocacy group Bitcoin Argentina, voiced concerns that the regulatory framework could curtail access for thousands of savers and freelancers who have turned to crypto assets amid inflationary pressures and currency restrictions.

The forthcoming regulations must strike a balance between regulatory oversight and preserving accessibility and inclusivity within the crypto ecosystem to ensure a thriving and resilient digital asset market in Argentina.