The Movement towards Socialism (MAS) and Citizen Community (CC) have presented bills that support cryptocurrencies. The initiative is also supported by several local cryptocurrency organizations. The case of Bolivia is still interesting given that it seems to be the counterpart of El Salvador in several aspects.
In Bolivia, an important debate is taking place around the legalization of cryptocurrencies. Both the Movement towards Socialism (MAS) and the Citizen Community (CC) have presented bills that support this initiative. This has led to a long discussion about the possible benefits and challenges that the measure would entail.
Currently, cryptocurrencies do not have legal recognition for legal persons and entities in Bolivia, a factor that could open the door to its use in illicit activities. The bills seek to address this legal gap by establishing a regulatory framework that includes the obligation to register people involved in cryptocurrency transactions.
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“The purpose of this law is to regulate cryptoassets and financial technology by establishing its guidelines, defining its characteristics and encouraging the adoption of technological innovation related to all financial activities involving the exchange of cryptoassets on virtual platforms and commerce between people, contributing to the adoption of new technologies that reduce the gaps of socioeconomic inequality,” reads article 1 of the draft “CryptoAsset and Financial Technology Regularization Law.”
In the local media Los Tiempos, Gabriel Pérez, MAS bill designer, highlights the universality of this regulation, applying to both small companies and large corporations. Furthermore, he emphasizes the importance of education, pointing out the availability of international courses related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Furthermore, the initiative has the support of several local cryptocurrency organizations. Among them are the Bitcoin Bolivia Community, Ethereum Bolivia Community, Blockchain Association Bolivia, Startups Bolivia and Chamber Fintech Bolivia.
Possible Benefits of the Bill to Regulate Cryptocurrencies
The legalization of cryptocurrencies in Bolivia could have a significant impact on the country’s economy. On the one hand, it is expected to boost new business and benefit the government in international agreements.
In addition, it would streamline transactions for exporters, importers, the tourism sector and entrepreneurs. International examples, such as the installation of cryptocurrency ATMs and the use of these for tips in Peru, illustrate the economic potential of this technology.
Among the possibilities that a more open and dynamic crypto legislation could have are smart contracts, internet of things, telemedicine and teleworking, logistics, auditing. Applications such as electronic government and digital citizenship, real estate, video games, intellectual and industrial property are also added.
However, there are also significant challenges, among which are the prevention of illicit activities and the imposition of taxes on cryptographic transactions, considering the volatility of these digital currencies. The crypto community in Bolivia advocates for a similar approach to that of El Salvador.
Cryptocurrencies in Bolivia and El Salvador: Political Contrasts
The legalization of cryptocurrencies in Bolivia, driven mainly by left-wing parties, marks an interesting contrast in the Latin American political scene. Bolivia has had one of the most hostile legislations towards cryptocurrencies in the region.
On the other hand, in El Salvador, a completely opposite path has been taken by adopting Bitcoin as legal tender. Despite injecting great incentives into the initiative, it has encountered opposition, particularly in left-wing sectors and ideologically related social organizations.
This contrast between countries suggests that cryptocurrencies are not necessarily and inherently linked to any type of political ideology.
By Leonardo Pérez