We talked with the accountant Susana Raya, about Bitcoin, cryptomoney and regulations in Argentina
Susana G. Raya is a chartered accountant, specializing in tax analysis of virtual currencies and digital companies. Cointelegraph en Español spoke to her in Argentina about her vision of cryptomonies and regulations.
Fernando Quirós (FQ): What potential do you see in Bitcoin and cryptomontages?
Susana Raya (SR): Both Bitcoin and some other cryptomonies are decentralised, portable assets; there is transparency and security in the transactions and they are also an important safeguard of value. These are great advantages over conventional coins.
I believe that the potential that Bitcoin Bank and its successors have is much greater than that, and we are at a starting point for the potential development that will occur in the near future.
Being a means of payment with so many advantages, it is becoming more and more accepted in the operations carried out by large digital companies, and also in new service platforms.
Little by little, people are entering new innovative projects which are multiplying in the ecosystem and, considering the possibility that this in turn will be valued over time, allow financial operations to be carried out which give it additional added value.
FQ: Do you consider that crypto-currencies are a change of paradigm in finance and the way of transferring value?
SR: I believe that the change of paradigm began to take place with the „Digital Economy“ that was born from the hand of the Internet around 1995. This enormous technological advance brought about essential changes in the way we live, communicate, consume and even work.
New companies and different business models began to develop that did not exist until that moment, such as the development of online shopping, web pages, digital book downloads, courses, tourism offers, the diffusion through streaming technology, being the list endless.
Some time later, Bitcoin appeared as an almost necessary event in this development, „the need for an Internet currency“, innovating on the economy as we knew it. Facilitating the way to make transactions from one point of the world to another, with absolute security, in seconds, and avoiding the centralization and costly intermediation that existed until that moment.
But it comes with much more than that, the Blockchain technology, generating that a universe of projects and enterprises begin to develop in these networks, leaving aside the traditional structures of value exchange and originating other ways of project financing.
This new business model that needed another model of value exchange, has widely changed the traditional schemes.
Specifically, I would say that we are witnessing a great transformation of conventional systems and the revaluation of freedom in our businesses. All these innovations are undoubtedly changes in paradigms that include virtual currencies such as bitcoin, as a necessary element in their future projection.
FQ: Do you think there has been an increase in interest in cryptomonies in Argentina?
SG: Yes, of course. In all countries with great economic instability, permanent currency devaluations, and prohibitions, people undoubtedly need to protect their income and savings.
The traditional economy no longer provides solutions, so virtual currencies are an important new safeguard of value. Argentina is currently one of the countries where most investment is being made in cryptomonies, and this year there has been a huge increase.
A significant amount of resources are coming out of the formal economy and being transferred to these currencies, especially the stablecoins or stable currencies, which are anchored to an asset that people already trust, like the dollar, and volatility is no longer a problem.
Personally I see this correlation reflected in my activity, where more and more people are asking about these new forms of value protection.
FQ: Is there a regulatory framework for cryptomonies in Argentina?
SG: In Argentina there is not yet a complete specific regulatory framework. Only isolated regulations have emerged, some of which are purely tax-based and include provisions in the Income Tax Act and in the mandatory reporting and collection systems.
Others, on the legal side, have agreed on the concept that considers virtual currencies as Financial Assets and that they are not legal tender.
This is very important because it was first established that their operations are completely legal. And secondly, that they do not apply the rules of the Foreign Exchange Criminal Law.
FQ: Is the regulatory framework very different from that of other countries?
SG: Not really. The regulations that are being implemented in Latin America, the United States, Spain and other European countries are quite similar because there have been meetings between countries where this issue has been put on the table, as happened at the last G20 summit. At that meeting, a specific commission was set up to study the issue of crypto-currency, and general guidelines began to be given there that the different countries have been implementing in their own legislation.
FQ: Do you pay taxes for making transactions with cryptomoney in Argentina?
SG: Not all transactions are taxed. There are many transactions that are outside the scope of taxation either because they are specifically exempt or eventual.
Neither are those that, because of the way they are carried out, are not taxed in the country, such as direct purchase or sale (P2P) on foreign platforms and without transfers to national bank accounts, or those that are carried out in person F2F (face to face) and in cash.
The tax issue in our country is particularly complex and in reality there are different situations that need to be analysed in detail.
Basically, taxed operations are those that mean a habitual source of income for a person, where one operates with the banks and obtains permanent profitability with this.
It should be borne in mind that what is taxed is „profit“. In other words, there is a range of expenses involved that are legitimately deductible from a transaction and the tax is settled on the difference.
FQ: Bitcoin was created not to depend on governments, central banks or companies. Does regulation in a country really affect Bitcoin?
SG: No, of course not. Legislation is advancing, which is why I mentioned the transfer of enormous masses of resources over which the states have no control.
But it is precisely the great strengths that Bitcoin and the crypto-currencies possess that have caused the state not to stay on the sidelines and to want to obtain its own resources through taxation.
FQ: What do you think of the DeFi phenomenon?
SG: Apart from the advances that I have mentioned, it is good to start looking at the new innovation that also comes from the hand of Blockchain technology, and that is the Decentralised Finance or so-called DeFi.
This includes digital assets, intelligent contract developments and new forms of financing and leverage for our investments, which will generate significant changes in our habits and ways of working and obtaining income.
About Susana Raya
She is a professional, public accountant graduated from the National University of Cuyo, in Mendoza (Argentina).
She is a specialist in Tax Analysis of Virtual Currencies and Digital Companies.
She is also the founder of the firm Stingray & Co, based in Malaga, Spain. She is also the director and owner of the Consultora Integral de Empresas S.G.R. Consulting, based in Mendoza, Argentina
He will be one of the teachers on the course „Law in Blockchain“, organised by Crypto Resources, which will begin on 7 October. Those interested in more information about the training, can enter here.