A prominent young Uruguayan entrepreneur and lawmaker has started a bid that might ensure that cryptocurrency payments are legally accepted in the country.
Juan Sartori, 40, is the founder of the Union Group conglomerate as well as a co-owner and director of the Sunderland AFC football club in the United Kingdom. In February of last year, he was also elected to the Senate.
The new bill, which Sartori unveiled this week, will be considered by the Senate’s committees. The bill also specifies how Uruguay will govern the use of tokens in the country.
“Cryptocurrencies provide a potential for investment and job creation. Today, we are introducing a law, a world-first bill, that aspires to create the legitimate, legal, and secure use of [cryptocurrencies] in businesses related to the manufacturing and commercialization of [tokens] in Uruguay.”
The following measures are proposed in the bill:
Bringing the domestic crypto business under the regulatory purview of the central bank and the anti-money laundering authority SENACLAFT
ensuring that cryptocurrency is “regarded as a viable mode of payment”
Providing legal definitions for terminology like “cryptocurrency mining,” “blockchain,” “token,” and so on.
Developing a customer protection solution for cryptocurrency exchange users
Developing a national registration for domestic Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs)
Imposing “sanctions” on crypto businesses that do not follow the rules
Perhaps surprisingly, the bill also recommends the “creation of a” crypto “training program” that would be open to all residents and would be administered by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
According to the media outlet El Observador, Federico Lemos, a lawyer and professor of Banking Law at the Catholic University of Uruguay (UCU), the measure could be approved in some areas. He stated, ”
“Any effort targeted at regulating these issues will always be highly regarded by legal operators, since ultimately what it attempts to do is provide legal certainty to an area that has had a significant global influence and has kept regulators awake at night trying to find a good balance.”
Lemos went on to say that the situation needed to be handled “with great care” because it was “an economic phenomenon that has not been fully grasped globally.”
On Twitter, reactions to the bill in Uraguay were divided, with some wondering if crypto could ever be really regulated, and others arguing that Uruguay should strive to position itself as the center of technology innovation in the Latin American area.