Colombian gov’t invites companies to trial its crypto transaction framework

The government of Colombia has approved on September 22 a pilot program that calls companies to test crypto transactions until December 31 within the regulatory sandbox just passed by the country’s financial watchdog.

During a panel titled “Overview of the Regulation of Crypto Assets in Colombia,” Jorge Castaño, head of Colombia’s Financial Superintendence (SFC), revealed that companies wishing to trial crypto transactions should apply by the end of the year, as the pilot will run in 2021.

The new regulatory sandbox was approved by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit on September 14. The SFC elaborated on the sandbox:

“This space allows the SFC to maintain a balance between adequate regulation aimed at carrying out comprehensive supervision of the entities under surveillance, the prevention of crisis situations, the illegal exercise of financial activity and the promotion and support of new technological advances applied to financial services.”

The panel’s host was Mauricio Toro, a local congressman and the author of the bill that aims to regulate the crypto industry in Colombia. Castaño told Toro that the pilot program will develop in five stages: application, selection, structuring, monitoring and feedback.

Although there is no exact timetable for the pilot program during 2021, the head of SFC mentioned that “four Colombian financial services providers” expressed interest in participating in the trial.

On April 4, 2019, a draft bill to regulate crypto exchange platforms in Colombia came to light. The aim of this law was to define in general terms how companies offering crypto exchange services in Colombia should operate.

The debate around the bill’s approval has been delayed by bureaucratic issues, such as waiting for a clear stance of the SFC towards crypto. However, with the launch of the pilot plan to trial crypto transactions, Congressman Toro commented on the panel that this could “speed up discussions” to be able to pass the bill in 2022 if all goes well in the Congress.

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