Source: AdobeStock /rpbmedia
Crypto regulation is on the cards in Latin America – where Brazilian MPs will vote on a regulatory framework and the Uruguayan central bank is preparing its own steps. In Colombia, a senator has called on people in the nation to stop cocaine production in favor of new Bitcoin (BTC) mining efforts.
In Brazil, a bill by a private member of MP Aureo Ribeiro has passed the committee stage and now faces a vote in the lower house.
According to the official website of the Brazilian House of Representatives, the bill will be discussed before a vote in the House of Representatives, although no timetable has been set for this.
If adopted, the measure would bring crypto exchanges under a regulatory umbrella and require them to keep records of customer transactions, anonymize customers and obtain permission from the Brazilian Central bank.
Ribeiro created the measure after a crypto-themed “financial pyramid” sucked in 300,000 victims in the Rio de Janeiro region.
He was quoted as saying that a “lack of regulation” meant that “people no longer have anyone to turn to. Crypto, he noted, is a “market that operates in the dark.”
As such, the bill aims to extend the length of sentences for money laundering crimes involving crypto-related issues and increase them from 3-10 years to 4-16 years.
If adopted, crypto operators would receive a 180-day grace period during which they can fall into line after the announcement.
From a crypto perspective, however, there is also a brighter side to the bill. According to the media company Livecoins, the DEPUTY recently gave a radio interview in which he indicated that the bill would also give legitimacy to tokens such as Bitcoin.
Ribeiro was quoted as saying:
“We want to separate the wheat from the chaff, create regulations so they can trade [crypto], know where to buy it, and know who to deal with. [You could] have this good [and use it] to buy a house, a car, go to McDonald’s to buy a hamburger. It will be a currency in the country, as is the case in other countries.”
He also claimed that crypto could be used in “real estate” deals and could even become a “currency of daily use.”
Those hoping for an upcoming BTC launch, as in El Salvador in Brazil, will probably have to temper their expectations, as the MP added that politicians would have to work with the Central Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Brazil (CVM). These bodies are not overly crypto-friendly and would likely quickly stop any plans to use BTC in parallel with fiat Real.
Meanwhile, the Uruguayan central bank has warned against crypto, according to El Pais. The bank said that it is currently working on draft proposals and an “action plan” that should be ready before the end of the year.
But in the meantime, it noted, cryptoassets “are not legal tender” – unlike the fiat peso. The bank added that crypto-related activities are not within its regulatory remit and are therefore unregulated, adding that the public should conduct a “full examination of the risks” before making crypto investments.
In Colombia, meanwhile, an outspoken Colombian senator has spoken about Bitcoin mining. Gustavo Francisco Petro first made a name for himself as a member of the revolutionary M-19 group in the 1980s and later became mayor of Bogotá. Most recently, he became a senator for the Humane Colombia party after coming second in the 2018 presidential election.
Petro commented on Twitter in response to a message about El Salvador’s BTC mining iNitiative “Volcanode”.
The senator considered:
“What if the Pacific coast used the steep waterfalls on the rivers of the western mountain range to produce all the energy for the coast and replace cocaine with energy for cryptocurrencies? Crypto money is pure information and therefore energy.”