Paraguay authorities held a meeting with representatives of startup companies to adjust their actions against money laundering.

Last January 2nd, there was an important meeting between the authorities of the Secretary for Preventing Money and Property Laundering (SEPRELAD) with representatives of the companies that are dedicated to the crypto world in the country, as local media reported.

According to some reports, the reason for the meeting was the decision to adjust to its anti-money laundering policies, putting its guidelines in line with the recommendations of the International Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The meeting was conducted by the Minister of SEPRELAD, Carlos Arregui. During the meeting, SEPRELAD established that the meeting was held as expected, but no further details were offered on how the guidelines would be conducted or how they will be applied to all startup companies operating in the country.

It is important to note that the meeting was attended by the co-founder of Casa Bitcoin in the Paraguayan capital and representative of Ciprex and Digital Assets, Juan Benítez Rickmann.

According to the data offered by the Secretary itself, it was known that the meeting worked to establish a coordinated line of action and adjust, effectively, to the new law against money laundering that was promoted and announced by the president of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benítez. For an agreement to be reached, attendees analyzed the new cryptocurrency environment, its benefits, and challenges.

During an interview with a representative of SEPRELAD through a web news media, it was known that the meeting was an initiative to focus on “the different modalities of this business and the development of new technologies (…) In addition to measuring the level of adoption, complexity, and size of the virtual asset market in Paraguay”.

Among the actions that were established, it was known that startup companies should create work tables which would help expose and explain to the authorities in charge the multiple actions that companies have been developing to avoid money laundering and money destined to finance terrorism. This was confirmed by the SEPRELAD supervisor, Juan Fernández.

During an interview, Juan Benítez Rickmann said that the government has all the disposition to comply with all the agreements that they give during these meetings and to comply with all the regulations. He also explained that the government was taking the first actions to grow the market, as well as to develop a legal environment that can serve as an engine to boost cryptocurrencies and attract foreign investment.

“It is important to remember that the country has the cheapest energy cost in the region through the Itaipu Binational Hydroelectric that we share with Brazil,” said Benítez.

On the other hand, Jorge Ramírez, CEO and founder of Cripex, commented that this meeting served to establish a set of clear rules for the sector.

“The idea is to operate freely within the category without having restrictions with bank accounts within the system since for the moment they are forbidden, causing transactions to be carried out mostly in cash”, said the Ciprex representative.

The Evaluation of Policies in Paraguay

This great meeting between the representatives of startup companies and SEPRELAD is part of a national government plan to schedule their actions to go in line with GAFILAT, which is the Latin American representative of the Financial Action Task Force.

According to reports, it is recognized that this technology opens a new one which must be evaluated, and adjust with its new legislation. This would significantly help decrease money laundering.

Paraguay has focused its attention on cryptocurrencies to prevent its country from being used as an intermediary to launder money from corruption, drug trafficking or terrorism.

Although the Central Bank of Paraguay classified Bitcoin as an asset that has no regulation or value, nor is it protected as legal currency in the country, these actions by the government show the possibility of changes in financial policies.

By María Rodríguez


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