Buenos Aires to accept crypto for tax payments, launch DLT-backed citizen profiles

The capital of Argentina and an agglomeration with more than 12 million citizens, Buenos Aires will make blockchain a vital part of its digitalization drive. Specifically, the city will accept public financial transactions in crypto. 

As city Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta revealed in his Steve Jobs-styled presentation on April 25, the 12-step development plan titled “Buenos Aires +” envisions a significant increase in crypto and blockchain adoption.

The city authorities intend to launch a platform for citizens’ digital IDs that will hold all the necessary information, such as birth dates and vaccine certificates, medical records, education documents. To make sure that such sensitive data is well-protected, the platform will run on distributed ledger technology (DLT). As Larreta emphasized in his speech:

“All that information stream, which will widen in a geometrical progression, will be protected by blockchain technology […] We are going to become the pioneers of that technology adoption so the users could control their data on their own.”

The move would mark the second step out of 12 towards the digitalized Buenos Aires. What’s even more intriguing is that the ninth step entails the option for citizens to pay their taxes in cryptocurrencies. While the city, itself, won’t hold crypto on its public accounts, it will convert the citizens’ cryptocurrency transactions into Argentinian pesos.

As Buenos Aires’ Secretary of Innovation and Digital Transformation Diego Fernández specified in a separate statement, the city is going to partner with local crypto exchanges, such as SatoshiTango, Buenbit, Ripio and Belo, to facilitate such payments.

In December 2021, Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin visited Buenos Aires during Web3 protocol The Graph’s launch anniversary. On that sojourn, he had a meeting with the former president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri, who also happens to be the ex-mayor of Buenos Aires and Larreta’s fellow member at the “Republican Proposal” party.

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