Guatemala cryptocurrency

Guatemala and Cryptocurrency

Guatemala Cryptocurrency Laws
Regulation of Digital Currencies: Cryptocurrency, Bitcoins, Blockchain Technology

In December 2017 the acting President of the Bank of Guatemala, Sergio Recinos, confirmed that both Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the country and do not have regulatory backing.[1] He stated that according to Guatemalan legislation, the quetzal is the national currency, and the Bank of Guatemala is the only issuer of bills and coins within the national territory, in accordance with articles 1 and 2 of the Monetary Law (Ley Monetaria).[2]  In this sense, virtual currencies are not recognized as a currency in Guatemala and neither are, they recognized as foreign currency; therefore, they do not constitute a means of legal payment.[3]

Recinos added that due to their anonymous origin, “cryptocurrencies can easily be used for illicit activities, such as money laundering, terrorism, drug purchases, and tax evasion, among others, to a degree that could be higher than with cash.”[4] Lastly, Recinos warned that cryptocurrencies are not backed by any government and do not depend on a central bank issuer; therefore, no one is trying to maintain their value over time, he recommended that persons carefully examine the issue before deciding to invest in cryptocurrencies.[5]

P.S. Insights on Cryptocurrency Legal Issues

Most jurisdictions and authorities have yet to enact laws governing cryptocurrencies, meaning that, for most countries, the legality of crypto mining remains unclear.

Under the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), crypto miners are considered money transmitters, so they may be subject to the laws that govern that activity. In Israel, for instance, crypto mining is treated as a business and is subject to corporate income tax. In India and elsewhere, regulatory uncertainty persists, although Canada and the United States are relatively friendly to crypto mining.

However, apart from jurisdictions that have specifically banned cryptocurrency-related activities, very few countries prohibit crypto mining.

Our Freeman Law Cryptocurrency Law Resource page provides a summary of the legal status of cryptocurrency for each country across the globe with statutory or regulatory provisions governing cryptocurrency.  The globe below provides links to country-by-country summaries:

Podcast:

The Freeman Law Project – Cryptocurrency Regulation and Taxation: A Brief Primer

Is cryptocurrency legal in Guatemala?

Do you have questions about cryptocurrency, digital currencies, or blockchain technology?


Freeman Law can help with digital currencies, tax planning, and tax compliance.   Contact us now to schedule a consultation or call (214) 984-3410 to discuss your cryptocurrency and blockchain technology concerns.


[1] Regulation of Cryptocurrency Around the World, Library of Congress, (Jul. 2018), https://www.loc.gov/law/help/cryptocurrency/world-survey.php#guatemala.

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