Banco Galicia, one of Argentina's largest financial institutions, said it would allow its clients to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies, as Argentina's tax authority told Latin American governments to increase their crypto controls.
The news agency EFE added that the bank will allow some of its customers to access services that include Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and USD coin, adding that this step will be a first for the country's banking sector.
The bank stated in a statement that it will allow the buying, selling and holding of crypto "due to high demand from its customers" and that it does not rule out growing the range of cryptocurrencies it deals with.
However, not everyone with a Banco Galicia account will be able to access the new services. Potential crypto traders will need bank "verified" "transaction profiles" and will need to prove they have a stable income (salary or equivalent). Ariel Sánchez, Director of Investment Products at Banco Galicia, said:
“We surveyed our clients and more than 60% want to include these assets in their investment portfolios. The youngest clients were the most in demand for these assets.”
The bank said that due to crypto volatility, only risk-taking investor profiles may consider using these services, and more conservative investors will need to "consider whether crypto is the right asset for them."
Crypto adoption in the country has increased in recent months as hyperinflation has driven many people away from the peso. Limiting the purchase of US dollars has led many people to buy US dollar-backed stablecoins and cryptocurrencies such as BTC to protect the value of their earnings.
Meanwhile, according to Agencia CMA, Argentina's tax authority said at a meeting with the Continental Tax Administrations of the Americas (CIAT) that tax and financial institutions should include cryptocurrencies in their global information exchange mechanisms.
The head of Argentina's Federal Public Revenue Administration (AFIP) stated during the CIAT's last plenary session that it is now necessary to "include electronic money, digital currencies and crypto assets" in the international tax agency's information exchange mechanisms. The president said otherwise, these assets could be used for tax evasion.