The monetary authority asked the entities to report personal data of those who operate or have digital currencies and set off the alarms in the sector
The shock still lasts. The news leaked by Franco Amati, a reference to the local community, indicated that the central bank from Argentina is asking banks to complete a form to identify clients that operate in the country and abroad with digital currencies.
The tweet was accompanied by the capture of an Excel spreadsheet sent by a banking chamber to its members, which asks for a name and CUIT, among other data. AND triggered the fear of savers, many of which they rushed to sell their assets.
The measure was confirmed by the monetary authority, which argued that “it is a common practice to ask banks for information on different topics of interest before advance In the development of regulations“.
Argentina’s Central Bank (the one with 50% annual inflation) is requesting banks to complete a sheet to identify clients known to have, trade or do payments with cryptoassets.Here a message from a bank association to their members (leaked by the local #Bitcoin community): pic.twitter.com/Rba2rAJXDu
– Franco Amati ???????? ⚡ (@franamati) April 2, 2021
Within the local crypto community uncertainty reigns. But much more among users, who they distrust that an intervention by Central Bank is for statistical purposes only.
Silence Press. The phrase that was the trademark of technical director Alfio Basile describes the climate of the crazy crypto scene. The executives consulted prefer not to speak with the microphone turned on due to the sensitivity of the subject.
“What do you want me to tell you. We don’t know anything. All I can say is that today 100 accounts were canceled: they sold their bitcoins and withdrew the cash, “a local broker that usually operates several million pesos a day says with anger. And completes:” Many people disarmed their position. Above, the market has been ironed for 20 days“.
“It is not understood. I do not think it will change anything for the exchanges, which they already inform the Central Bank and they have their operations mapped out, “remarked one of his colleagues to explain his confusion.
Indeed, cryptocurrency exchange houses fall within the regime of Central Bank Payment Service Providers, so that report information to the monetary authority and they meet certain requirements – albeit more lax – than an entity licensed by the agency.
Like other fintech companies, such as Ualá or Mercado Pago, these companies must ensure that the users’ money is in sight accounts and show that, yes they lend money, they do it with their own funds and no of depositors. That is to say, they do not do “financial intermediation”.
Consequently, according to the source, the rule ends hurting novice users that resort to companies registered in the country to buy and sell these assets, while the bitcoiners advanced they usually use tools beyond the control of the authorities.
The latter are the P2P platforms (person to person), such as Paxful, Airtm or Binance, which do not report data to the BCRA because they do not trade crypto assets: they are marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers in exchange for a commission. However, most of the operations are solved with bank transfers.
In Argentina there are at least 900,000 savers who have cryptocurrencies
Another executive, who went through several companies in the sector, affirms that “it is very common for the Argentine keep everything that is left under the mattress because he remembers how unreliable the banks and the local currency are: corralito, hyperinflation, confiscation of deposits, etc. “.
Therefore, he continues, “many saw cryptocurrencies as a sort of mattress 4.0 to protect against these catastrophes, which are still very fresh in their minds. Is a very sensitive topic feel monitored for using cryptocurrencies and there is the fear of having your funds withheld“.
Beyond the local level, the manager remarks that “do not lose sight of the international ‘regulatory story’ to avoid the laundering and financing of terrorism, accelerated by the entry of institutional investors, which will surely lead to greater controls“.
In the sector, many interpret that the last measure of the BCRA is a “exploratory mission ” What prelude to the project debate of law signed by Liliana Schwindt and Marcos Cleri, from the Frente de Todos, which could get treated in the next few weeks.
The text proposes to the National Securities Commission as enforcement authority and forces crypto-asset companies to be “subjects Obligors “of the Financial Information Unit (UIF).
That is, your customers must justify the source of funds and report suspicious money laundering or terrorist financing transactions to the agency. Something that, currently, make the exchanges voluntarily.
The project also empowers the Central Bank to carry out “financial monitoring of activity“and monitor” information about transactions in crypto assets in the local market and by national residents in foreign markets“, in addition to preparing impact reports and releasing details on operations. Issues almost “traced” in the arguments used by the BCRA after knowing the news.
“That an ADEBA message asks to monitor cryptocurrencies is as expected as a message from Truckers against Mercado Libre being leaked,” jokes in a WhatsApp chat in a highly experienced trader, who assures that the entire regulatory move will end feeding the parallel market.
“Now ya we have blue and exchange prices. Blue was always up and now it can go higher because it is a small market, “he remarks. Therefore, he does not rule out that the informal price will skyrocket.
In this sense, Guillermo Navarro, a lawyer specialized in law and technology at the Bildenex study, affirms to iProUP that this measure “discourages the option to buy bitcoin blank“And he agrees that the parallel will rise.
“The only thing that is going to do is that they buy in P2P (person to person). silver will travel by hand to Paraguay, Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, and it will be converted to crypto there. They will not be able to control it, “he anticipates.
For the lawyer, the measure is vague and highly debatable from the legal point of view. “They went out to fish for information. And it’s damaging a growing industry investing in the country, “he assures.
“There is no clear regulation. An Argentine can buy or sell, without being subject to the information regime. It is a desperate measure. It does not say whether to report whether you bought or sold Bitcoin, Ether, or DAI. It is not rational, “he says.
In this sense, it states that the monetary authority no ask for listings who bought dollar Bag, they have in their power valuable works of art nor did they buy other assets, such as oro. And he assures that the BCRA should disclose at least Two issues:
- “To know about how the user obtained their crypto assets. I could not have bought them or received a payment for a service “
- “If you bought them blank, you must pay what you have to pay“
The lawyer Víctor Castillejo went further and presented a habeas data against the Central Bank to stop this measure, which, according to the iProUP, “presents several problems, since does not have the power to regulate crypto assetss. He is overreaching because it is a private act that belongs to the intimacy of my identity. ”
In this way, expect that the judge justifies the class action, that is, that allows it to be done a class action lawsuit. “If you don’t, each individual must do their habeas data. If you understand that I am a suitable representative, you will ask the BCRA submit new data and request memberships”, completa.
According to Castillejo, the Personal Data Law establishes that the request for information must take into account the purpose, quality, relevance or objective set, although the BCRA only talks about “regulation”.
“If the objective is regulatory, what you would be interested in is the volume and number of transactions, not the identity of the users. It cannot even do it to monitor, because it does not appear as an end within its Organic Charter, “he remarks.
According to Castillejo, the users who own this information “have rights protected in the Personal Data Law” and he remarks that “knowing these transactions has a high discriminatory power“.
“Imagine that every time someone purchases with a card, the BCRA knows that buy a gin and tonic. Public profiles of users and interpret that person as an alcoholic. It would cost you to get a job, for example “, graph.
The lawyer brings up this case for the “bad reputation” that is awarded to the holders of digital currencies. “There is an erroneous assumption that they are used to launder money. According to Chainalysis, in 2020 the 0.32% of all operations were linked to crimes. In other words, the vast majority are legitimate transactions, “he argues.
On Wednesday the deadline for banks to inform the body that Pesce directs a list of users who have digital currencies ends. Meanwhile at least 900,000 Argentine cryptohorists they hope to continue counting on him the only refuge they have left in the face of the crisis.