Argentina is one of the countries in the region with the highest level of cryptocurrency adoption, according to the Americas Market Intelligence (AMI) report, which indicated that 1 in 10 people in the country is already a crypto user. In addition, it indicates that in a very short time the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment by consumers will grow, especially through cards.
However, this trend of growth in users was framed in 2022 where the global economy suffered a major setback and the crises experienced by the crypto world raised serious questions about the ecosystem and the need for governments to get involved in the regulatory field. .
In addition, the end of the so-called “free money” in the face of the general increase in interest rates and other imbalances in the macroeconomics in general, prompted the consolidation of the big players who began to offer products based on web 3.0, which seems to have a dynamic impact on the real economy.
This new scenario generated a double command at the governmental level, on the one hand the need to promote this emerging sector of the economy was perceived and on the other hand, the debate on how to regulate it was opened.
In this sense, at the beginning of December 2022 through Resolution 17/2022 published in the Official Gazette, the national government established the creation of the National Blockchain Committee, which aims to determine its implementation in different tasks that are carried out. out from the National State.
This will seek to clarify the regulatory gray areas that still exist today, to ensure that the 3.0 products offered to the population are reliable and suitable for customers, retail, and also to clearly delimit the playing field so that traditional institutions safely enter the so-called ‘new economy’.
The government remarked that the blockchain managed to consolidate itself as an alternative that allows “promoting the transparency of public processes and the opening of information for citizens” worldwide.
Likewise, the Minister of Economy, Sergio Massa, maintained that cryptocurrency companies are part of the global technological revolution, so he considered it necessary for the State to integrate to work together and position Argentina as one of the leaders in the area. . In addition, he assured that blockchains serve the process of modernization of the State.
Industry leaders, in general, view this type of initiative by governments positively, understanding that they are increasingly receptive to incorporating this type of technology and seeking to generate the necessary conditions for the growth of the ecosystem. Francisco Mayora, CFO of Koibanx , the leading blockchain asset tokenization platform in Latin America, explains that the participation of a government in the crypto industry can occur at 3 levels:
1- Legislating and offering the appropriate regulatory framework so that private companies can develop their activity in the ecosystem without complications or unnecessary bureaucratic obstacles.
2- Fostering the growth of the ecosystem, with training programs for users and programmers and tax benefits for companies that develop technology. A clear example would be the inclusion of the development and use of blockchain technology as an activity promoted within the framework of the Knowledge Economy Law.
3- Directly applying the benefits of blockchain technology in government processes. Some of the areas in which it could be applied are, for example, in public procurement processes, in the financial and budgetary management of government entities, in property and patent registration, in the dispersal and monitoring of subsidies, among others. .
In this sense, Mariano Di Pietrantonio, a benchmark in the sector and Co Founder & Head Of Strategy of Maker Growth, welcomes the government approaching the sector but considers that the entire industry must participate and be the same that proposes and defines in together with the government what is the best way to regulate the sector itself.
It is important to note that blockchain technology does not only cover cryptocurrencies, and that there are more and more use cases where the technology allows reducing costs, improving security, and increasing transparency in solutions that apply to both the public and public sectors. for the private sector, which undoubtedly generates an increase in efficiency and productivity in the real economy.
“In the future, we will see applications of the technology in more industries, breaking out of the fintech ecosystem to revolutionize the processes of the industry in general. We are already beginning to see examples of new cases of use of technology in the gaming industry, intellectual property, and even in the tokenization of the country’s abundant natural resources,” says Mayora.
From the NGO Bitcoin Argentina, its president, Rodolfo Andragnes, assures that the blockchain ecosystem matures and grows despite the lower amount of resources and investments that were suffered due to the crypto winter, but maintains a positive view of the industry, and assures:
“I have seen companies learn to work with fewer staff and automating processes, with the flexibility to deepen certain business areas. In addition, I also see a lot of creativity and many entrepreneurs trying to generate new projects both in Bitcoin and in other networks.”
In turn, Di Pietrantonio adds: “The development of tokenization of real-world assets can give a boost to the Argentine economy like no other, but you have to take into account how it is developing globally so as not to get locked in a set of rules that do not make sense for the international ecosystem”.
However, Lorena Fabris, lawyer and member of the ecosystem, takes a more critical look and questions the government’s regulatory interest, arguing that it would be motivated, above all, by collection purposes, and explains:
“I thought that in 2022 we were going to have more regulatory laws, but I think that ignorance and external factors caused several of them to stop. As far as Argentina is concerned -although I know many who are working on draft regulations- I do not see a genuine interest from the authorities in understanding and promoting the technological development generated by web3. In the country there are many technological projects that do not require regulation to continue developing. Although I think that if we had a sandbox law with promotion of the industry and benefits, there would be many interested in developing more projects here”.