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Bitcoin Bull Max Keiser Slams Argentina’s New Crypto Regulation

Max Keiser, who dubs himself as the High Priest of Bitcoin, has launched a scathing criticism against Javier Milei, the libertarian President of Argentina, for his recent move to regulate BTC in the country.

Keiser took to social media platform X to express his disapproval, stating that Milei’s decision represents a major misstep. He asserts that Milei’s lack of understanding of Bitcoin will ultimately lead to negative consequences.

Milei, in the build-up to the presidential election, was seen as Bitcoin-friendly. He secured a historic victory in Argentina’s presidential run-off election on November 19, 2023, defeating his opponent Sergio Massa with 55% of the votes. At his inauguration on December 10, 2023, many considered it a turning point in Argentine politics.

There was hopeful anticipation for his plans to rebuild the national economy and promote cryptocurrency adoption. This is so considering many believe Bitcoin has what it takes to help solve Argentina’s inflationary woes. In fact, just before last Christmas, contracts denominated in Bitcoin were legally recognized, meaning, parties in Argentina can create contracts in which Bitcoin is the stipulated currency.

However, just a few months into his presidency, signs of a shift in stance emerged. In late March, the Comisión Nacional de Valores in Argentina announced the implementation of a new mandatory Registry of Virtual Asset Service Providers, ushering in more regulation for entities operating with crypto assets in the country.

Keiser and Crypto Community Disapproves of Milei’s Policy

This development has drawn criticism from figures like Max Keiser and members of the cryptocurrency community, including Neo (@21Millones_BTC). Neo, expressing disappointment in Milei’s perceived reversal, highlights the impact of the new regulations on Bitcoin adoption in Argentina.

He claims that previously, he used to pay contractors in Argentina using Bitcoin via Lightning Network, but since the new government took office, custodial apps have ceased allowing BTC transfers, signaling a shift away from freedom in the cryptocurrency space.

Similarly, Argentinian NGO Directive member and Money On Chain protocol co-founder Manuel Ferrari in an interview with Forbes describes the new regulation as a terrible idea:

“It’s a terrible idea to have a registry that enables the buying and selling of Bitcoin. Bitcoin is money, not a security. It’s as wrong as if currency exchange houses for dollars or euros or shops where gold is bought and sold had to register with the CNV. It’s complete nonsense.”

Some analysts have also agreed with Keiser noting that if appropriate steps are not taken, Argentina may suffer the economic consequences. The analysts say they will continue to watch keenly to see how far the crypto regulation moves will be implemented given that Texas Bitcoin miners recently teamed up with Argentinian firms for sustainable mining operations.

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