Argentina Bows to IMF, Bans Crypto Sales Through Banks

The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) has banned financial institutions from offering unregulated digital assets services.

The move comes roughly a month after the International Monetary Fund approved a $45 billion loan facility that required the country to discourage the use of cryptocurrencies.

Argentina is taking a bold stance against crypto as inflation rates hit 20-year highs.

In a Thursday statement, the South American country’s central bank banned its financial sector from providing unregulated digital assets services.

Since no crypto assets are regulated in the country, the move effectively amounts to a blanket ban on crypto transactions within the official economy.

The move comes roughly a month after Argentina signed a $45 billion debt restructuring deal with the International Monetary Fund to help the country avoid defaulting on its debts.

The agreement included a provision that requires the country to discourage the use of cryptocurrencies in hopes of making its financial sector more resilient.

In January, the IMF pulled a similar trick with El Salvador, ordering it to “narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing Bitcoin’s legal tender status.” Unlike Argentina, El Salvador, which was also negotiating a loan deal with the IMF, firmly rejected the fund’s conditions.