Digital currency in Colombia, a proposal with more doubts than certainties?

Colombia analyzes the possibility of issuing a digital currency. Recently the director of the National Tax and Customs Department (Dian), Luis Carlos Reyes, spoke about this initiative, whose purpose would be to avoid tax evasion in transactions that are currently carried out in cashand that are not reported to the entities.

(Government would create digital currency in Colombia, according to Dian director).

According to Reyes, the government’s idea of ​​digital currency would be to facilitate consumer transactions and “improve the traceability of payments made in the economy”.

This proposal came after the Ministry of Finance stated that it would include an article in the tax reform project to prohibit cash payments of more than 10 million pesos, an initiative that is even supported by Asobancaria, an entity that, in turn, , has said that much of the tax evasion is done with large cash transactions, which could indicate that the digital currency would be used when making movements of large sums and thus replace cash, instantly, under a mechanism that would be defined.

And the manager of Banco de la República, Leonardo Villar, commented in the middle of his speech at Asobancaria’s annual convention, in Cartagena, that the Issuer “will evaluate the convenience or not of a digital currency.”

(How would the digital currency proposed by the Government be used).

In addition, he announced that the entity is working to facilitate the conditions so that in Colombia there is an immediate, digital and unified payment system that covers the majority of the population, similar to the PIX payment system that exists in Brazil and that has been developed by the financial system and the central bank of that country.

However, Villar assured that, despite the arrival of new players in digital matters that offer various products and wallets, there is a lack of full interoperability in the system, since clients must be more efficiently coordinated with the system. financial.

objections to the initiative

After the mentions of the Dian and the Banco de la República regarding a digital currency, some criticism and objections have been raised about this proposal, which even speaks of it being inconvenient, unnecessary and that it would be unconstitutional.

digital currencies

Digital currencies have gained a lot of popularity in recent times.

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“Creating a ‘digital currency’ in Colombia is contrary to the Constitution and the law, unnecessary and inconvenient. Only the Banco de la República, the monetary, exchange and credit authority, according to the Political Constitution, could issue a ‘digital’ peso”said the professor and columnist Jorge Restrepo, through his Twitter account.

(Immediate payment system, product in which Banrep works).

According to Restrepo, a limitation to the liberating power of the currency, for example so that it cannot be used in cash for transactions of more than 10 million, as proposed by the director of the Dian, it would also probably be contrary to the Political Constitution.

For his part, Gabriel Santos, president of Colombia Fintech, stated that Colombia cannot yet speak of a digital currency if not all people have access to a stable and permanent internet signal to carry out immediate transactions.

In addition, he said that another challenge is to provide security and confidence that all transactions are registered, without invading the private sphere of citizens.

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