Several well-known companies, including fintech giant Ualá and online marketplace Mercado Libre, have been offering clients the ability to trade cryptocurrencies. The recent statement from the BCRA reads, “Payment service providers that offer payment accounts may not carry out or facilitate transactions with digital assets, including cryptoassets, that are not regulated by the competent national authority and authorized by the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) to their customers.”
This ban will have a significant impact on major platforms such as Mercado Libre, often referred to as the Latin American Amazon, which will no longer be able to provide Bitcoin buying services to Argentine citizens.
Bitcoin as a Potential Savior Amidst Economic Crisis
Argentina, the third-largest economy in Latin America, is currently grappling with one of the worst inflation rates globally, exceeding 100% last month for the first time in three decades.
Numerous crypto startups and even a popular presidential candidate have promoted the use of Bitcoin as a potential solution for ordinary Argentinians who cannot save or are being pushed into poverty due to the peso’s collapse.
Despite cryptocurrencies being unregulated in the country, their popularity has been on the rise. Blockchain data firm Chainalysis ranks Argentina at number 13 in its 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, stating that it is one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency markets.
Implications od BCRA ban for the iGaming Industry
This recent development has several implications for the iGaming industry, particularly in Argentina:
- Limited Access to Cryptocurrencies: With major platforms being banned from offering cryptocurrencies, players in the iGaming sector who rely on digital assets for their transactions will face challenges in accessing these currencies. Crypto lotteries, crypto casinos and other operators might be affected.
- Increased Demand for Alternative Payment Methods: The ban could lead to a surge in demand for alternative payment methods within the iGaming industry. Players may seek other options, such as e-wallets or prepaid cards, to fund their gaming activities, in contrast with global iGaming Trends.
- Potential Regulatory Changes: This ban could act as a catalyst for regulatory changes within the iGaming sector, prompting the industry to adapt to the evolving landscape of digital assets and cryptocurrencies in Argentina. As the central bank’s statement suggests, only cryptoassets authorized and regulated by competent national authorities will be allowed. This may lead to the creation of new regulatory frameworks for digital currencies within the industry.