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Regulation of cryptocurrencies around the world: The Americas

Regulation of cryptocurrencies around the world: The Americas

Canada

Status: Legal

The possession, purchase and trading of cryptocurrencies is legal in Canada and is regulated by Canada’s anti-money laundering legislation. Cryptocurrencies are not considered legal tender but are viewed as a commodity and transactions that generate profits must be taxed.

Mexico

State: Legal ambiguity

The legislation to regulate everything related to cryptocurrencies has already been drafted and only needs the approval of some authorities to become a legal text. It is also known that they are working on the regulation that will specify the operations in cryptocurrencies.

United States

State: Legal ambiguity

There is no federal regulation that affects the whole country. At the state level there is also no uniformity, some states have sought to encourage the use of cryptocurrencies while others have been much more reluctant and have explained the negatives of doing these operations.

The SEC has made strong announcements against ICOs and has said that if they want to operate within the United States they must meet the same standards required of investment securities within the U.S. financial system.

Argentina

Status: Legal ambiguity

Cryptocurrencies are not regulated by law but there are already plans to regulate this market by the end of 2018. For now what does exist in the Argentine legal framework is the imposition of taxation for profits obtained from operations.

Bolivia

Status: Illegal

Since 2014 there has been a strong exchange control that also affects cryptocurrencies since what was established is that any currency that is not issued or regulated by the central government is illegal and its use is punishable. Cryptocurrencies fall under this assumption.

Brazil

State: Legal ambiguity

Cryptocurrencies are not considered financial assets and therefore financial institutions cannot invest in them. Profits obtained in the cryptocurrency market are subject to a 15% tax.

Chile

Status: Legal ambiguity

There are currently no legal regulations but there have been legal problems regarding the use of cryptocurrencies. Some large Chilean banks have proceeded, unilaterally, to close bank accounts associated with Chilean Exchanges and these in turn have filed lawsuits and demands for the authorities to decide on the case. There is still no decision on the matter but we know that this decision will frame the government’s position on cryptocurrencies.

Colombia

State: Legal ambiguity

There is no authorization but there is also no prohibition regarding the use of cryptocurrencies. Neither are they seen as securities or as legal tender.

Ecuador

Status: Illegal

Since 2014 cryptocurrencies are taxatively prohibited and recently the Central Bank emphasized the prohibition it previously maintained. They have said that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender and their use is not authorized as a real means of payment.

Venezuela

Status: Legal

It was the first country to “create” (in quotation marks because the currency has not yet been commercialized) its own cryptocurrency, the Petro. Due to the creation of this currency, in April 2018 a Decree was created that regulates the use of cryptoassets at the national level and establishes that the national government will protect, guarantee and promote the use of cryptocurrencies in public and private institutions. However, due to various political problems, the situation with the issuance of laws in Venezuela is not entirely clear and we do not know what may happen in the future.