Bitcoin Argentina Presents Draft Bill to Regulate Cryptocurrency Market
A non-government organization, Bitcoin Argentina, has presented a draft bill proposing to regulate the cryptocurrency market in a way that preserves decentralization and strengthens public trust. The proposed legal framework was pitched by Bitcoin Argentina’s president, Ricardo Mihura, at LABITCONF 2023 in Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, on November 10.
Bitcoin Argentina, which previously dismissed the idea of regulating the industry, now argues that it is necessary to not only preserve blockchain but also hold bad actors accountable to the fullest extent of the law. Mihura stated, “We have always rejected attempts to regulate the crypto economy, but this time we set ourselves the goal of giving a positive response, with only two purposes: preserving decentralization and protecting savings and public trust.”
The proposed bill focuses on separating cryptocurrency platforms and service providers into three categories to ascertain property rights — decentralized, local centralized or willing to dialogue with authorities, and global centralized. Platforms falling under one of the two centralized categories would be allowed to operate freely, but their customers would be granted “the broadest possible judicial protection,” guaranteeing the right to claim damages in the event of a company’s downfall. It is understood that Argentina’s judiciary will not intervene in failures of decentralized platforms.
Courts will decide whether a cryptocurrency platform is sufficiently decentralized when resolving claims put forward by allegedly injured customers. Mihura stressed that imposing an outright ban on cryptocurrencies simply wouldn’t work, given the global nature of blockchain. He stated, “Not even the United States can effectively prohibit the operation of the unlicensed crypto economy […] 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.”
Mihura further added, “This includes those directly responsible and all those who profit in the marketing chain of a fraud, until the final victim.”
Blockchain Argentina’s proposed bill comes one week ahead of Argentina’s presidential run-off election between Sergio Massa, the country’s economy minister, and Javier Milei, an economist turned politician who wants to abolish Argentina’s central bank and adopt the United States dollar. Argentina is currently battling an inflation crisis, with the country recording the fourth-largest annual inflation rate in the world at 121.7% over the last 12 months.