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New regulatory framework for Virtual Assets and virtual asset service providers

On March 14, 2024, Law No. 27,739 (the “Law”) was enacted, through the issuance of Decree No. 254/2024 (the “Decree”), which reforms the National Regulatory System for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing, establishing a regulatory framework applicable to virtual assets and virtual asset service providers in the context of Law 25,246 Concealment and Laundering of Assets of Criminal Origin (the “Anti-Money Laundering Law”).

The Law introduces amendments to offenses included in the Argentine Criminal Code and to the Anti-Money Laundering Law. Additionally, it incorporates definitions on virtual assets and virtual asset service providers, establishing that they are obliged to report to the Financial Information Unit (known by its acronym “UIF”), within the framework of the Anti-Money Laundering Law and the regulations issued by the UIF, and creates the virtual asset service providers registry under the sphere of the Argentine Securities Commission (known by its acronym “CNV”).

Virtual assets, whose definition is incorporated into the Anti-Money Laundering Law, are defined as: “digital representation of value that can be traded and/or transferred digitally and used for payments or investments. In no case shall a virtual asset be understood as legal tender in national territory and currencies issued by other countries or jurisdictions (fiat currency)”.

Additionally, the Law defines Digital Asset Service Providers as “any individual or legal entity that, as a business, performs one (1) or more of the following activities or operations for or on behalf of another individual or legal entity: i. Exchange between virtual assets and legal tender currencies (fiat currencies); ii. Exchange between one (1) or more forms of virtual assets; iii. Transfer of virtual assets; iv. Custody and/or administration of virtual assets or instruments that allow control over virtual assets; and v. Participation and render of financial services related to an issuer’s offering and/or sale of a virtual asset.”

The CNV shall be the enforcement authority of the virtual asset service providers registry, under which those individuals or legal entities that are virtual asset service providers, according to the definition included in the Anti-Money Laundering Law, shall be registered.

The Law grants the CNV the exercise of all its powers of supervision, regulation, inspection, oversight and sanction contained in Article 19 of Law No. 26,831 (the “Capital Markets Law”). This autarkic agency shall regulate the parameters to be followed by the Digital Asset Service Providers for the rendering of their services.

Access the complete text of the Law here.

Access the complete text of the Decree here.

This publication was elaborated based on information dated 18/3/24 and does not constitute a legal opinion on specific issues. If necessary, expert legal advice should be sought.

For further information, please contact:

Sebastián Luegmayer –  LuegmayerS@eof.com.ar