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Cryptocurrency : Opposition deputies call for reforms to regulate bitcoin exchanges in El Salvador

Key facts:

Anabel Belloso and Dina Argueta ask to modify three articles of the Law against money laundering.

They believe that this reform will clear the uncertainty and concern of the population on this issue.

Representatives Anabel Belloso and Dina Argueta, from the FMLN Parliamentary Group, opponents of the government of the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, requested to reform the Law against money laundering and other assets. They propose that the country’s bitcoin exchange houses be obligated subjects, and report all transactions that exceed the equivalent of USD 10,000.

Parliamentarian Anabel Belloso was the spokesperson for this proposal, which was released on June 23, 2021 through a video posted on the Twitter account of the Central American newspaper El Mundo.

In a clip that lasts more than a minute, the legislator mentioned the reform proposals that They are requesting for three articles of the aforementioned law, sanctioned in 2018. Specifically, he referred to Article 2, which would be modified to incorporate the subjects who are obliged to comply with this regulation. They would thus include both exchange houses or exchanges where bitcoin transactions are made, along with legal platforms for lawyers (an emerging phenomenon in the country that helps generate business).

In this regard, Belloso recalled Article 4 of this regulation, which establishes that those who have participated in criminal activities to hide or cover their illicit origin “will be punished with a 15-year prison term and a fine of 50 to 2,500 monthly minimum wages in force for commerce. , industry and services at the time the corresponding sentence is issued. “

The legal text also states that money and asset laundering will be understood as any operation, transaction, action or omission aimed at hiding the illicit origin and legalizing goods and values ​​from criminal activities committed within or outside the country.

Belloso pointed out that in the case of Article 9 of the aforementioned Law, the proposal seeks to make modifications so that the obligated subjects that are listed in Article 2, report all transactions in bitcoin.

As the Law already establishes that they must report to the corresponding those transactions greater than USD 10 thousand, What is being incorporated is the obligation to report transactions equivalent to this amount that are carried out using cryptocurrency or any cryptoactive, although in this specific case they refer to bitcoin.

These are the three specific reforms within this regulatory framework to remove the uncertainty and concern that is in the feelings of the population and about the possibilities of money laundering through this form of transaction.

Deputy Anabel Belloso of the FMLN Parliamentary Group.

Belloso recalled that on June 23 in the company of the deputy Anabel Arguetta they presented this request in writing through which they propose reforms to the Law Against Money Laundering so that bitcoin exchange houses are subject to this law and report all the transactions they carry out. Source: El Mundo newspaper / twitter.com

Belloso added that It is necessary to modify other legal frameworks that accompany this initiative. “I believe that they did not take into account many regulations when approving the ‘early morning express’ (Bitcoin Law), nor do they know what implications regarding other laws the new Law has.”

The reactions of the Salvadoran tweeters

The followers of the news on Twitter published their responses to the proposals of the parliamentarians. The user of the social network identified as Oswaldo B, said the following: “The problem is that whoever has the BTC is not obliged to justify its origin.”

In the same thread, the tweeter under the pseudonym El Political Scientist replied: «Bitcoin is no longer so effective for hackers. The FBI has recovered millions of dollars from a recent ransomware attack.

For his part, the follower Nicolight Copernight highlighted: “Why do they send ignorant people to make these kinds of requests about the transactions of a currency that can be openly verified from a telephone?” Oswaldo B replied: “Neither the deputies who approved this nor those who oppose it have the slightest idea of ​​how it works.”

On June 17 of this year, Belloso and Argueta themselves presented a reform to eliminate bitcoin as legal currency in El Salvador, considering that the adoption of cryptocurrency endangers the economic system and family finances.

As CriptoNoticias reported on that occasion, the legislators questioned the “obligation” that the new law expresses on the use of bitcoin to pay for products or services. For the congresswomen, the Bitcoin Law was drawn up without consultation and approved in an expedited manner, without the necessary discussions.

Days later, it was learned that this request did not have the support of the deputies represented by the Alianza Nacionalista (Arena) party, in the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador. In this regard, Deputy Numan Salgado of the Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional (Gana), a party allied with the ruling party, said that Arena and the Farabundo Martí National Liberation Front (FMLN) were asking changes or repeal of the aforementioned law because they seek to generate uncertainty and fear in the citizens of El Salvador.

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