A bill has been introduced in Uruguay by a senator to allow businesses to accept cryptocurrencies as payment and regulate their use within the South American country.
Sen. Juan Sartori introduced the bill on Tuesday, with the goal of ensuring “legal, financial, and fiscal stability in the enterprise generated from the creation and commercialization” of cryptocurrencies.
“Crypto assets will be legally recognised and accepted, and they will be usable in any legitimate business.” They will be regarded valid payment methods in addition to those covered by the financial inclusion law, as long as they follow the law's and regulations' rules,” the bill stated.
Sartori’s bill would establish that cryptocurrencies "are freely sold by those entities and persons who desire to commercialise them," and any natural or legal person "may receive and/or transmit funds in legal tender from and to their own bank accounts or those of licenced companies."
However, he told CoinDesk that the bill does not treat cryptocurrencies as legal cash.
If the bill passes, the government will issue a "first licence" to companies that will allow them to trade crypto assets on exchanges. A third licence would be used to create crypto assets or utility tokens with "financial features," while a second would be used to "store, hold, or safekeep crypto assets."
According to the bill, the licences would be granted by Uruguay's executive branch to organisations that comply with the anti-money laundering secretariat (Senaclaft) and the Central Bank of Uruguay. “All of these instruments will be free to use and will not require prior consent, permits, or licences” for other transactions.
Sartori's bill also includes provisions for crypto mining regulation. Miners, unlike doctors, would not require a special licence to operate, but would require licences from Uruguay's Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Mining.
“Promotion of technical training for electrical, civil, and computer engineers in the development of virtual assets” is also part of the plan.
Senaclaft, according to the bill, "shall keep a registration of virtual asset service providers" as well as those persons or legal entities who seek to engage in virtual asset development and commercialization activities.
Sartori is a member of the National Party, which is now in power. In 2019, he ran for the National Party's presidential candidacy.
The National Party and its partners, who comprise the Coalición Multicolor alliance, have a majority in the Senate, with 17 of the 30 members.
Only one country has adopted bitcoin legal tender so far: El Salvador, which passed legislation earlier this year.