Cryptocurrencies: Laws vary by country
In Latin America, cryptocurrency regulations run the legislative spectrum. Amongst those countries with harsher regulation — Bolivia, for example — has comprehensively banned cryptocurrencies and exchanges, while Ecuador has issued a ban on the circulation of all cryptocurrencies apart from the government-issued “SDE” token. By contrast, in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and Chile, cryptocurrencies are commonly accepted as payment by retail outlets and merchants. For tax purposes, cryptocurrencies are often treated as assets: they are broadly subject to capital gains tax across the region, while transactions in Brazil and Argentina are also subject to income tax in some contexts.
Cryptocurrency exchange regulations in Latin America are sparse: many countries have no specific laws governing the trade of cryptocurrencies and so, beyond the scope of existing legislation, do not regulate exchanges. Mexico regulates exchanges to an extent: the Law to Regulate Financial Technology Companies extends anti money laundering (AML) laws to cryptocurrencies through registration and reporting requirements.
Many Latin American countries have expressed concern about the effect of cryptocurrencies on financial stability, and their money laundering risks. Beyond issuing official warnings, however, financial authorities across the region are yet to reveal plans for any significant future cryptocurrency regulation.