Argentina to Tax Crypto Exchanges

The Latin American country will levy a 0.6% tax on the exchanges on cryptocurrency purchases and sales.

Nov 17, 2021 at 7:25 p.m. UTC
Updated Nov 17, 2021 at 7:48 p.m. UTC

Argentina plans to tax crypto exchanges operating in the country on purchases and sales executed on their platforms, the office of President Alberto Fernandez announced on Wednesday.

The 0.6% tax on bank credits and debits currently applies only to certain banking transactions carried out by companies operating in Argentina.

Until now, crypto exchanges did not pay taxes because they were part of an exemption that applies to fintech companies registered as payment service providers (PSP).

The tax will affect crypto exchanges that hold accounts in Argentine banks, an Argentinian exchange senior executive told CoinDesk, adding that the prices of cryptocurrencies in Argentine pesos are likely to increase as companies transfer the new cost to customers.

Cafecito founder Damian Catanzaro, an Argentine entrepreneur who recently connected Lightning Network to the tipping platform, said that after the tax, crypto users will increasingly opt for peer-to-peer exchange platforms and non-custodial wallets.

Argentina’s Tax Policy Secretary, Roberto Arias, said on Twitter that the measure is not a tax on cryptocurrencies, adding that the decree will “provide greater certainty” on the operations of crypto exchanges.

In September, Argentina’s Central Bank President, Miguel Pesce, said the bank was watching the development of cryptocurrencies with “concern.” In June, it began an investigation of nine fintech companies for allegedly offering unauthorized financial intermediation through cryptoassets.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk business reporter based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem.