In the middle of a flat presidential debate, coached to the extreme, where the protagonists were more concerned about avoiding mistakes than taking risks with confrontation and proposals, there was a novelty that raised countless questions and generated enormous expectations: Argentina could have its first legal tender digital currency.
The announcement was part of the intervention of the minister and presidential candidate Sergio Massa, during the block referring to the economy. “We are going to launch the Argentine Digital Currency,” Massa announced, and added: “just as your children propose in their platform economy the possibility of trading with their cell phone or card, we are going to do it globally for all of Argentina.” ».
It was the kickoff of a debate that has just begun and that promises to have its legislative chapter. Indeed, the project for the creation of the new Argentine Digital Currency (MDA), would be sent shortly to the National Congressand as happened with the elimination of the fourth category of Income Tax or with the refund of VAT, its treatment could be much faster than expected.
From the Ministry of Economy of the Nation they revealed this morning that The final objective of the new MDA is to promote the use of digital payment methodsformalizing payment chains and reducing the use of cash.
«We are going to launch the Argentine Digital Currency. Just as your children propose in their platform economy the possibility of trading with their cell phone or card, we are going to do it globally for all of Argentina.
Sergio Massa’s announcement during the presidential debate.
Official sources also add that it is a two-stage program. The first would seek to strengthen the existing ecosystem regarding virtual wallets. In the second, progress would be made in a new infrastructure provided and supported by the Central Bankgenerating capabilities so that the latter can issue a digital or virtual currency.
In short, in the environment of specialists that surrounds the minister of economy and presidential candidate of the ruling party, they understand that The use of virtual wallets and digital currencies is already a trend that is installed in the majority of consumers in Argentina.
They also warn that Instead of imposing obstacles and regulations on the use of these tools, the State must accompany the change in the consumption habits of users.establishing clear rules, and capitalizing on the advantages of the digital world to achieve not only the benefit of users, but also better administration of public resources.
The point became clear last week when the Central Bank published a resolution in which it placed limits on transfers from demand bank accounts to virtual wallets, mainly affecting Mercado Pago users. The poor reception that the measure had and the certainty that it affected millions of people and businesses that operate daily with these platforms, made Sergio Massa himself assume the reverse course in person.
From Economy they explain that MDA will facilitate digital operations and will generate opportunities, autonomy and independence for people and companies through financial simplification. They estimate that the proposal will allow more freedom and autonomy when carrying out transactions in everyday life, and It will be easy to use and access, including non-digitized and non-banked sectors.
These aspects are everyday for the millions of people who use virtual payment wallets every day, and perfectly understand the advantages in terms of the simplification of the purchase and sale operation, the convenience of not using cash, and the versatility in managing funds, for example with minors.
However, there is one point in particular that has long generated an extra attraction for virtual payment platforms: the premium (interest) they pay for the mere fact of keeping the money in sightwhich is prohibited for demand accounts in banking entities regulated by the Central Bank.
From the Ministry of Economy they affirm that the initiative allows reducing national and provincial taxes, operating commissions on platforms and facilitates P2P (Peer to Peer or “colleague to colleague”) operation.
In this sense, the launch of the MDA would seek to generate an incentive through tax relief for those who choose to keep their money and carry out their transaction operations through the official virtual wallet. In the Economy they explain that the program of the MDA will introduce incentives to encourage the use of digital media, reviewing the withholding tax scheme and other tax measures.
It is still unknown what taxes the review of withholdings would reach, how much the tax reduction would be., or what the mechanism would be to obtain the benefit. Such details would be included in the bill that will be sent to Congress.
However, during an interview on C5N on Monday night, Massa left some clues in this regard. “It’s a 30% tax reduction, if you make all your income go through your wallet (MDA)” the minister stated. He added that “each Argentine will be able to register his wallet with his ID,” and finally he focused on the macro fundamentals of the idea: “The wallet allows us to generate a multi-monetary mechanism to strengthen reserves with yuan, reais and dollars”he claimed.
Indeed, The official virtual wallet would come hand in hand with a new money laundering It would allow those who keep foreign currency outside the formal system to put these funds in view of the treasury in exchange for an attractive tax exemption. Since the MDA is an official currency backed by the Central Bank, the measure would imply the strengthening of reserves.
In summary, the new Argentine Digital Currency (MDA) would be Sergio Massa’s daring and disruptive novelty in the midst of the electoral campaign, with which he hopes to capitalize on the trend in new consumer habits, promote the reduction of informality, and alleviate the financial equation of the treasury.
- It would be the tax reduction that anyone who chooses the Argentine Digital Currency (MDA) would enjoy through the official virtual wallet.
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