The Argentinian government has taken the first steps in the launch of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). A new decree identified the number 207/2022 gives new faculties to the Argentinian mint to involve in the investigation, development, and issuance of digital currencies. This puts Argentina on the trail of countries like Brazil and Mexico, that are already involved in the development of their e-currencies.

Argentina Prepares the Field for a CBDC

The government of Argentina is preparing the legal field for future issuance of its own central bank digital currency, the digital peso. In a decree approved and published on April 26 with the number 207/2022, the Argentinian government modified the functions and faculties of the national mint, giving it new responsibilities and possibilities.

In these new faculties, the decree includes capture and digital processing of data, images, codes, sounds, and microchips, software design and development, implementation of digital security, teleprocessing of information, printing, and/or recording of databases.

While the national mint just had the faculties to print national currency, the new decree justifies this change by stating that:

Currently, the advancement of digital environments in terms of transactions and payments… artificial intelligence and digital governance systems, as well as the emergence and proliferation of “blockchain” technology, cryptographic technologies and assets justify the update of the reach of the national mint.

To Rosendo Gravanago, legal counselor in the crypto asset area, this is a clear move in the direction of issuing a CBDC. He stated:

This gives us the pattern that Argentina is trying to get into the CBDC trend, a trend that has been adopting centralized electronic fiduciary money.

Argentinian National Exchange and Payment Platform

Also, there are other modifications to the original purpose of the organization which hints at the future establishment of a national exchange with payment processing possibilities. In this sense, the decree allows the national mint to manage and execute payments and/or collections on behalf of third parties through the use of electronic devices, transactional platforms, or any other means.

Gravanago declared to local media that:

With this regulation, the national mint is empowered to create a kind of central exchange.

These changes put Argentina in the CBDC panorama in Latam, trailing behind countries like Brazil and Mexico that are already engaged in research and development tasks related to the future issuance of their digital currencies.

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