Attempts to regulate activities related to bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies have flourished around the world in recent years. The list includes from the witness case of El Salvador, the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal currency, to other attempts such as those that occurred in Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay. Argentina also travels that path, although for now, without results.
In Argentina, three projects were presented to regulate cryptocurrencies in the last two years. However, none of them managed to get approved, and the last one did not even pass his commission.
The most recent project, which dates from July 6, 2021, was presented by José Luis Ramón, deputy for the province of Mendoza of the Federal Unit and Equity party. As CriptoNoticias detailed at that time, the initiative aimed to legalize the payment of workers’ wages in cryptocurrencies.
According to the portal of the Chamber of Deputies, after its entry the project was referred to the Finance, General Legislation, Labor Legislation and Budget and Finance commissions. Even the President of the Nation himself, Alberto Fernández, expressed his support for the debate on the idea. However, that instance never passed, nor was it discussed on the premises with all the deputies.
In 2020, there was also an attempt to regulate bitcoin in Argentina
The first “move” to legislate on this issue occurred in November 2020. Ignacio Torres, legislator of the Together for Change alliance – whose reference is former President Mauricio Macri – publicly announced his idea of regulating bitcoin as a form of payment, saving and investment method.
However, the initiative made no progress on the legislative path. In fact, it was not even formally presented and was left with only draft status.
Just a few days later, deputy Liliana Schwindt, from the Frente de todos bloc – the ruling party, linked to Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner – presented a similar project. Both that of Schwindt and that of Torres were based on a preliminary draft prepared by university students during a session of legislative practices of which they were part.
The Argentine Chamber of Deputies has not yet dealt with laws on bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Source: Twitter Liliana Schwindt.
This second initiative was officially entered into Congress. But nevertheless, nor did it obtain an opinion from the respective commissions (Finance, General Legislation and Budget and Finance) to be dealt with by the plenary session of the Chamber.
Shortly after its presentation, the project drew criticism from the NGO Bitcoin Argentina, an organization that interpreted it as discouraging for technological development in the country. Since then, there has been no more news about it.
What is in store for these projects now?
In Argentina, bills introduced to Congress have parliamentary status for two years, as detailed on the official site of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights. If they are not approved after that time, they must be presented again to reacquire that right of discussion.
That implies that Ramón’s project to collect wages in cryptocurrencies is still “on time” to obtain an opinion to be debated in 2022. On the other hand, those presented in 2020, their validity expires at the end of 2021, so they can no longer be processed during the ordinary period of sessions of 2022.
In some provinces there were resolutions on activities with cryptocurrencies, but it is only about local taxes and that, according to experts, can be interpreted with some ambiguity. This is because the laws in question regulate activities that take place in the territory of the provinces, while many cryptocurrency exchanges take place through foreign companies, that is, outside the borders of the country.
In this way, Everything seems to indicate that bitcoin and cryptocurrencies will remain in a kind of legal vacuum —Recognized even by a collaborator in the Frente de Todos project — at least for a while longer. Meanwhile, the collection bodies put the magnifying glass on local cryptocurrency companies and savers with the aim of raising money from an activity that, until now, they have not covered in the corresponding area, which is Congress.
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