Welcome to Latam Insights, a compendium of Latin America’s most relevant crypto and economic news during the last week. In this issue: El Salvador to deepen its Bitcoin commitment if President Bukele gets reelected, Argentine President Javier Milei drops crypto tax matters from Omnibus Bill, and Venezuela gets hit by gold sanctions.
El Salvador to Maintain Bitcoin as Legal Tender
El Salvador Vice President Felix Ulloa said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that bitcoin will remain legal tender in El Salvador during the second term of President Nayib Bukele even after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) again urged the country to drop the cryptocurrency as legal tender during negotiations for a billion-dollar loan.
Ulloa clarified that the victory of Bukele in the upcoming elections will contribute to the continuation of the Bitcoin policies, such as the launch of the volcano bonds, which are programmed to be issued during the first quarter of 2024. On the law that declared bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, Ulloa stated:
Not only will it (the law) be maintained … At this moment, it enjoys the greatest credibility in the entire world.
Recently, Bitfinex launched operations as a digital securities tokenization company in El Salvador, expecting strong demand for cryptocurrency-based products, reinforcing the trust in the country’s digital future.
President Javier Milei Drops Crypto Tax Opportunities From Omnibus Bill
The Argentine government has withdrawn the opportunities for declaring ownership of certain assets, including crypto, from the omnibus bill presented to Congress this month. The bill, titled “Law of Bases and Starting Points for the Freedom of Argentines,” seeks to advance reforms in several areas, including getting legislative powers for President Javier Milei.
The government dropped this and other parts of the bill to get faster approval of the bill, given that there was no consensus on the withdrawn issues. Guillermo Francos, minister of interior, stated:
The proposal is aimed at generating freedom for economic development. It was essential to get this out quickly. The tax part was smaller and delayed treatment.
Venezuela Hit by Reenactment of Gold Sanctions
The U.S. Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has revoked a license that allowed CVG Compania General de Mineria de Venezuela CA (Minerven), the Venezuela state-owned gold company, to be part of gold transactions in international markets. The U.S. convened to revoke the sanctions on Minerven back in October when an agreement was reached with Maduro’s government to review the participation of key opposition figures in the upcoming presidential ballot.
Also, the U.S. State Department Stated that more oil and gas-related sanctions would be reenacted if the Venezuelan government did not review this participation by April. Jorge Rodriguez, president of the National Assembly, defiantly called the U.S. government to apply the sanctions immediately. Answering to National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby, Rodriguez stated