Argentina’s Biggest Futures Market Seeks Approval For Bitcoin Futures

If all goes well, Argentina will have its first Bitcoin futures contract. Matba Rofex, Argentina’s leading futures exchange, has applied for permission to list a Bitcoin-ETF in the near future. Matba Rofex asked Argentina’s highest regulatory body, the National Securities Commission (NSC), for permission to list cash-settled Bitcoin futures. This will be the country’s first regulated Bitcoin futures contract. Argentina residents have traded in crypto futures on unregulated exchanges and will continue to do so.

On October 1, Bloomberg reported that the NSC received a proposal from Matba Rofex and that although the agency would review the report, it was not a priority. Matba Rofex will also explore futures trading on other cryptocurrencies.

The Rise of Crypto ETFs and Futures

Although Latin America has a high rate of cryptocurrency friendliness, no country in the continent has approved official bitcoin futures on a regulated exchange. The US SEC approved the first Bitcoin-ETFs last month and they went live on the NYSE. Bar that, no regulated crypto-ETFs are approved, although several of such applications have been submitted to the regulatory agency.

This move by Argentina’s largest futures market does not come as a surprise; Argentina is a crypto-friendly country whose president, Alberto Fernández has expressed his willingness to adopt bitcoin as a currency. As one of the countries with the highest crypto adoption rates, Argentina currently ranks among countries with crypto-friendly policies that have encouraged the development of the industry.

Argentina has one of the cheapest power supplies in the world and has become a destination for crypto miners in the last three years. That, combined with the public’s love for bitcoin and altcoins, and a population that wants to hedge against inflation, have created a ready market for the Bitcoin futures.

Crypto Regulation In South America

Governments of South American countries have a more friendly disposition towards cryptocurrencies than Europe and Asia. The continent produced the first country in the world to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender and judging from the governments’ attitude suggest that the industry will be backed for development and impact on traditional finance.

Although crypto regulations are country-specific in Latin America, they are polarized from mild to harsh regulations. Countries like Bolivia have banned cryptocurrencies and their exchanges. The Bolivian government adopted zero-tolerance for cryptocurrencies and has not rescinded its decision. Ecuador is slightly milder on the industry and is content with issuing strong warnings about the dangers and risks of trading virtual tokens.

But Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, and Brazil are pro-cryptocurrencies and have begun to treat the digital tokens as assets; they are taxable in those countries. The lack of regulation in the industry has however clogged the wheel of progress to become a legal tender. The passing of regulatory laws will surely improve the use of cryptocurrencies and how governments in Latin America begin to utilize them. The advent of crypto-based ETFs and futures is a welcome harbinger of better times for the industry!

By Edward Harris
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