Business

Erik Gibbs

Chilean lawmakers poised to discuss crypto bill

The South American country of Chile is apparently looking to embrace cryptocurrencies and the FinTech space. The country’s Minister of Finance, Felipe Larraín, has reportedly introduced a bill that would offer regulatory guidance for crypto and, while Chile is still not ready to recognize crypto as a form of currency, the move shows how the Bitcoin industry continues to become an integral component of societies around the world. While some countries have been more reluctant to provide the necessary oversight, others, such as Chile, South Korea, France and more, have been working to ensure the proper regulations are in place.

Larraín recently spent some time in the U.S. and may have used his experiences to help draft the bill. He said that the new regulations would be applicable for businesses and that they will consider a variety of business models, as well as deliver solutions for different services that have varying risks to both the consumer and the financial markets. 

He explains, “Taking into account the different forms taken by the business models of these platforms and also the fact that different platforms can provide different services, the regulation will apply requirements proportionally, regulating according to the type of service provided and the risks that this implies for the users and for the financial market.”

The flexibility built into the bill is going to be one of its strongest points. The Bitcoin industry is still evolving and maturing and flexibility is important in an effort to provide guidance as the industry changes. 

There are a large number of crypto exchanges in Chile, but the majority are not regulated. This is an issue Larraín is looking to address, as well as the insecurity surrounding crypto investments. He explains, “Regulation of these platforms would mitigate some of the risks, such as money laundering and terrorist financing, and increase the legal certainty with which they operate. We want to adequately protect against the risks associated with this kind of activity.”

The minister is certain that the bill will be received favorably by Chile’s Congress this year and that it could be made law soon. In general, the country has been relatively open toward FinTech and crypto, with Chile’s anti-monopoly courts siding with crypto exchanges in ordering banks to not shut off financial services to those entities.

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