The announcement on Thursday afternoon comes after the IMF last month approved a $45B loan facility for Argentina that stipulated the country would discourage the use of cryptocurrencies.
The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA) announced Thursday afternoon that it has barred banks in the country from facilitating for clients the use of crypto assets.
The BCRA statement says banks are prohibited from offering services for any digital assets not regulated by the central bank, and since there currently are no digital assets thus regulated, the move amounts to a de facto ban.
“The measure ordered by the BCRA’s board of directors seeks to mitigate the risks associated with transactions with these assets that could be generated for users of financial services and for the financial system as a whole,” the statement said.
The announcement comes just days after Banco Galicia, the largest Argentinian private bank by market value, added the option to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on its platform. Also this week, domestic digital bank Brubank began offering similar services.
A source close to the matter told CoinDesk that as of Friday banks should no longer be offering customers the ability to buy and sell crypto.
In March, Argentina and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) each approved a debt package of $45 billion that included a provision discouraging the use of cryptocurrencies.