Uruguay and Colombia move forward with digital currency regulation plans

Lawmakers in Uruguay and Colombia have brought forward bills to regulate the digital currency market in their respective countries, in the latest steps from Latin American countries to bring greater government control to the digital currency markets.

Senator Juan Sartori brought forward the bill in Uruguay, which aims to cover the current gaps in rules for the sector, with a view to reducing criminality associated with digital currencies like BTC.

The bill has been described as “broad,” which local legal experts suggest could actually increase its chances of passing onto the statute books, because it doesn’t change the existing legal structures or any specific legal concepts.

If introduced, the bill will introduce regulation on custody, issuance and trading, but will not extend to digital currency mining, which will continue to be treated as a separate economic activity.

Digital currency assets are defined in the bill as “digital products that use cryptographic encryption to guarantee their ownership and ensure the integrity of transactions.” The bill also introduces a new licensing regime for intermediaries, custodians and digital currency issuers, with new compliance requirements for licensees.

Their counterparts in Colombia have been making similar progress towards a new digital currency bill, with Senator Mauricio Toro last week introducing a bill that hopes to instigate digital currency-friendly rules in the country.

The senator said the law is primarily aimed at bringing the black market under control, delivering safer transactions for consumers and businesses, as well as promoting innovation and alternative structures to traditional banking systems.

The bill primarily introduces a series of new registration requirements for domestic and foreign digital currency exchanges operating in the country, as well as instituting a series of new legal disclaimers for digital asset exchanges operating under the licensing scheme.

The moves come at a time of increasing regulation for digital currency sectors in countries across the world. 

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