The Chilean President Is Thinking About Regulating Cryptocurrencies

Chile’s Finance Commission of Deputies recently held a forum, during which President Marcel made comments indicating that his bureau is considering the development of a legislative apparatus for the regulation and monitoring of activities related to Chile’s cryptocurrency sector. Cryptocurrencies in Chile are presently not under any form of regulation, neither are they legally recognized as a means of exchange or securities.

Mr. Marcel, speaking about developing an effective medium through which monitoring the cryptocurrency markets will be possible, said that “incorporating a regulation would allow having a registry of the participants in these activities and thus have information to monitor the associated risks.” He also added that “ these activities could be developed under more robust standards and mechanisms, especially in the terms of the market transparency, consumer protection, and prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.”

By contrast, President Marcel warned that developing an ad hoc regulatory apparatus could risk providing a false “sense of security” whilst failing to effectively manage associated risks.

Mr. Marcel, regardless of the comments, still went ahead to question the guarantee of a regulatory framework for virtual cryptocurrencies in Chile. He stated that “Considering that these assets exist in the country, there is an associated industry and people who own them, it is questionable if it would be appropriate to change this situation.”

Buda and Crypto Mkt, two Chilean cryptocurrency exchanges requested in March,  that some clarifications be brought on the position of the country’s banking association with respect to virtual currencies after several banks suddenly terminated their accounts with the exchanges. Both exchanges along with Orionx, the third one, received a notice at the beginning of the month of April, from Banco del Estado de Chile (Banco Estado) that their accounts with the country’s sole state bank would soon be closed.

The Buda requested to appeal against the account suspensions in mid-April. The action was successful, as Chile’s anti-monopoly court ordered two of ten banks to re-open Buda’s accounts.

The decision of the court led the Chilean Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism, José Ramón Valente, to release a statement saying that the government is “not in favor [of] or against [cryptocurrencies], but simply see them as another innovation.”


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