Chile's Minister of Finance, Felipe Larraín, has announced the sending to Congress of a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies and Fintech.
The announcement was made during Chile Day 2019, a two-day event taking place in New York that seeks to position Chile as a leading exporter of financial services in Latin America.
The event was arranged by InBest, a non-profit organisation comprising the major stakeholders in the Chilean stock market, and the Chilean Ministry of Finance.
The Minister noted that whilst crypto activities and the exchange of virtual assets have been increasing in Chile, such activities are not currently subject to specific regulation.
Whilst recognising the importance and potential of alternative financing and the provision of financial services using technological means, the Treasury has expressed the importance of ensuring financial stability and market integrity, and has also warned that the current lack of regulation poses risks to members of the public looking to invest in cryptoassets.
It was further noted that the current legal uncertainty may discourage the development of the growing fintech and crypto sector, particularly as platforms are likely to have difficulty complying with current regulations that apply to the traditional financial sector.
Accordingly, the Minister states that regulation would help to mitigate risks, such as money laundering and the financing of terrorism, as well as increasing the certainty of the environment in which crypto and fintech platforms operate.
A further aim of the proposed regulation is to ensure regulatory symmetry between traditional financial services industries and industries that are more increasingly technological, whilst also ensuring that any regulation is flexible enough to adapt to a rapidly evolving sector.
The announcement is the latest development in Chile's evolution into a regional financial centre, which is one of the stated goals of the Government of President Sebastián Pińera.