Uruguay’s executive branch has proposed a bill that would allow the country’s central bank to legally oversee virtual assets, local newspaper El Observador reported September 8.
The invoice, proposed to the Uruguayan parliament for consideration, suggests placing virtual asset service providers in a “new category” of companies, according to the newspaper. These companies would ultimately report to the Superintendent of Financial Services (SSF), which is part of Uruguay’s central bank.
These virtual asset service providers, known as PSAV for their acronym in Spanish, are defined as entities that regularly offer virtual asset services to third parties in a professional manner. These activities include holding and exchanging virtual assets with each other or in fiat currency.
The bill would require “all entities that operate with virtual assets” in Uruguay to be subject to global anti-money laundering standards, whether or not they are part of the country’s financial system. El Observador explains that the bill would also update Uruguay’s securities market law to place crypto assets under the definition of “book-entry securities”.
So far, it’s unclear how the bill could pass through Uruguay’s bicameral General Assembly. If presented, the proposal should go through the country’s Senate and House of Representatives with or without amendments before the executive considers making it into law.
According to the text of the bill, the Uruguayan central bank defines virtual assets as a “virtual representation of value or contractual rights that can be stored, transferred and traded electronically through distributed ledger technology (DLT) or similar technologies. “. Blockchains fall under the broader DLT category, the text says.
The bill goes on to outline different classifications of virtual assets, with categories including virtual asset securities, utility virtual assets, “stable” virtual assets such as stablecoins, and central bank virtual currencies ( CBDC), and exchange virtual assets such as bitcoin. and ether.
Uruguay was one of the first countries to explore a central bank virtual currency (CBDC) pilot in 2017, but so far no crypto-specific regulations have been passed. The conversation about this resumed in August 2021 when Senator Juan Sartori offers a bill that would legalize virtual assets, but it did not become law.
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