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Argentina’s securities regulator has approved a Bitcoin futures index, which is set to debut in May. This move marks a significant step towards the mainstream adoption of digital assets in Latin America.

First Government-Approved Bitcoin Futures Index

Argentina’s securities regulator, the Comisión Nacional de Valores (CNV), has approved a Bitcoin-based futures index set to launch on the Matba Rofex exchange. Trading for the Bitcoin (BTC) futures contract will begin in May.

According to the exchange, it will be the first regulated Bitcoin futures index in Latin America. The CNV approved the Bitcoin futures index as part of a strategic innovation agenda initiated at the beginning of 2022.

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The innovation agenda aims to foster a platform for collaboration between public and private entities to develop innovative and novel products in the capital market. The upcoming futures contract for Bitcoin will rely on the BTC price offered by multiple local crypto exchanges that provide BTC/ARS trading pairs.

Transactions will be resolved through the official fiat currency, and participants will need to transfer Argentine Pesos via bank channels. However, the exchange must ensure an active agreement with a Payment Services Provider (PSP) officially registered with the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) to provide payment services within the country for these contracts.

The CNV has requested Matba Rofex Exchange to add notifications that warn investors of the risks associated with financial instruments. Also, the regulator requested that the exchange offer a secure and regulated way for qualified investors to gain exposure to Bitcoin through the regulated Bitcoin futures index market.

Argentina is facing high inflation, and many citizens have started turning to Bitcoin as a solution, leading to a rise in the country’s peer-to-peer Bitcoin trading volume. A recent bill by the Ministry of Economy incentivizes citizens to declare their crypto holdings by offering them tax benefits.

The country has been welcoming towards crypto over the years, with adoption almost doubling compared to neighboring countries. Binance’s expansion to Argentina was announced a week before the CNV approved the Bitcoin futures index proposal.

ZA Bank Takes the Cryptocurrency World by Storm

In a related development, Hong Kapprovong’s ZA Bank has announced its exploration of the crypto world. Being the most prominent online bank in Hong Kong, ZA Bank plans to provide services for conversions between fiat and digital currencies.

The CEO of the bank, Ronald Iu, stated that ZA Bank would offer conversions from tokens to fiat currencies via licensed exchanges. Moreover, after depositing cryptocurrency tokens with exchanges, the bank will function as a “settlement bank” for customers who want to withdraw Hong Kong dollars, US dollars, and Chinese yuan.

In addition, ZA Bank has partnered with the only two digital asset exchanges licensed in Hong Kong, HashKey and OSL. The ZA Bank chief mentioned that many local and foreign firms had expressed interest in this service.

ZA Bank provides online accounts for local Web3 and crypto startups and has also conducted trials with approximately 100 firms in a regulatory sandbox. The bank intends to interact with authorized exchanges solely and adhere to regulatory demands by adopting a strict AML process.

Meanwhile, Iu remarked that ZA Bank wouldn’t provide cryptocurrency services to Chinese retail clients as the government’s limitations on crypto trading prevent it.

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George Ward

By George Ward

George Ward is a crypto journalist and market analyst at Herald Sheets, known for his engaging articles on the latest digital currency trends. With a background in finance and journalism, he presents complex topics accessibly. George holds a degree in Business and Finance from the University of Cambridge.