“Bitcoin and crypto are an improvement over fiat money”

Marcos Zocaro is a tax advisor, university professor and researcher at the Tax Administration Studies Center of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina. He recently published a paper on the legal framework for cryptocurrencies in this country. Cointelegraph in Spanish spoke to him to find out his vision of the ecosystem.

Fernando Quirós (FQ): What potential do you see for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies?

Marcos Zocaro (MZ): Bitcoin and crypto are generally a significant “improvement” over fiat money. They are more transparent and their payment network is faster and cheaper, which can result in significant cost savings, especially for international transfers. And we not only have to maintain the usefulness of cryptocurrencies, we also need to analyze the potential of blockchain technology, for example to make public processes transparent and fight corruption, including key utilities.

“Bitcoin and crypto are an improvement over fiat money”
“Bitcoin and crypto are an improvement over fiat money”

FQ: Do you see cryptocurrencies as a paradigm shift in finance and as a way to transfer value?

MZ: Undoubtedly, and I think sooner rather than later everyone will accept them, even their most passionate critics (like some central banks). It will also be important that all people receive financial training in order to achieve a faster introduction of these assets.

CF: In which Latin American countries do you see the greatest interest in cryptocurrencies?

MZ: Venezuela is undoubtedly a country where the use of cryptocurrencies is widespread among its citizens due to its economic conditions. They even have the petro. On the other hand, Argentina has recently seen an increase in users of these assets, mainly due to the obstacles in the foreign exchange market.

CF: You have prepared a report on the legal framework for MZ: cryptocurrencies in Argentina. What made you write it?

MZ: I have been interested in studying the legal framework for cryptocurrency activities in Argentina for a long time, and for a few months I joined the Center for Tax Administration Studies at the UBA School of Economic Sciences and proposed to develop the topic. and from the first minute I had the support of the entire center. It is a very topical and very important topic.

FQ: What were your conclusions in this report?

MZ: Analysis of the current rules in Argentina reveals the lack of a correct and complete legal framework for all activities related to cryptocurrencies, which is a disadvantage for the Ministry of Finance (which cannot levy the relevant taxes) and the Ministry of Finance (such as the FIU and their operational difficulties in controlling illegal activities such as money laundering) and for taxpayers and professionals who advise them (who are in a state of amazement because they cannot correctly declare their investments and other cryptocurrency operations).

A positive sign is the fact that with so many and so dizzying changes and innovations in the crypto world, digital currencies have been included in the Income Tax Act to provide them with frameworks, regulations are almost nonexistent until 2018. However, it is important that lawmakers and the Treasury continue to regulate activities quickly and flexibly, and always pay attention to the current and potential benefits of this disruptive technology.

FQ: Is the legal framework very different in other Latin American countries?

MZ: On the contrary, this almost complete lack of laws to control activities in Argentina is not an isolated case in the world: the majority of countries, not just Latin America, have similar regulatory problems today. We even often see banks in Spain, Australia and other countries preventively “closing” bank accounts of crypto users and merchants. And, for example, the topic is constantly being examined by international anti-money laundering organizations (such as the FATF).

CF: Bitcoin is designed not to be dependent on governments, central banks or companies. Does bitcoin really affect whether there are regulations in a country?

MZ: Regulation at a specific time is required so that some agents involved in the operation know how to act. For example, banks that often block accounts from cryptocurrency providers who have no easy way to demonstrate their business (especially if the sale is P2P). or merchants who receive fees for selling their goods and / or services through bitcoins and are not sure how to pay for them.

CF: How could it stay that way in the future?

MZ: I hope that when legislators adopt new regulations, they will not only consider the tax / revenue aspect, but also all the benefits that cryptocurrencies (and their underlying technology: the blockchain) can bring to business and economic activity in general.

Research on the regulatory framework in Argentina

Marcos Zocaro’s research was called “The regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in Argentina – comparison with other countries“” It looks at the current legal framework for cryptocurrency operations in Argentina, analyzes unregulated issues, and tries to explore possible solutions in this regard, including a quick comparison with the legal tax framework in other countries. The full report can be viewed here.

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