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Chile's central bank sees 'clear motives' to regulate cryptocurrencies

Banco Central de Chile head Mario Marcel said there are "clear motives" to regulate cryptocurrencies, according to a report by Diario Financiero.

Speaking at a May 14 meeting on the subject with other financial regulators, Marcel said digital currencies such as bitcoin "do not properly comply" with the current legislation for monetary instruments and must therefore be regulated, especially as the volume of cryptocurrencies within the country could rise over the next years.

"Exposure may increase in the future ... such as derivatives of cryptoassets that exist in the United States since late last year," the central bank governor reportedly said. Despite not presenting a risk for financial stability, Marcel reportedly identified cryptocurrencies as "not a good means of payment," nor "a good accounting unit."

Meanwhile, Catherine Tornel, head of capital markets regulation at Chile's finance ministry, highlighted the fraud exposure risk of cryptocurrency platforms and said that the state was monitoring the market.

Chile's Ministry of Finance is studying the regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country amid growing debate on the matter after platforms BUDA and CryptoMKT filed lawsuits against several banks for closing their accounts.

The companies have asked banking and financial institution association ABIF to formulate a transparent position on the matter, by defining whether cryptocurrency firms will be allowed or prohibited to have access to banking services. ABIF had said that it does not control the commercial activities of its members.