Panorama FinTech in Chile: Interview with Diego Maldonado, associate of Apparcel, Uriarte & Vassallo Abogados

Watch the video interview here:

First question: Regarding the FinTech sector, do you consider that Chile is on the right track at the regulatory level?

The first question is, do I consider that Chile is well on the FinTech regulatory level and why?

In Chile I would say that we are in a situation of progress. If we can say that between a very basic, intermediate or advanced element, in my opinion in Chile we are in an intermediate situation because we have regulations that regulate particular aspects in FinTech, for example, the payment law, with payment cards issued by operators non-banking, which is an issue related to the FinTech world in that it involves a broad use of technology by non-traditional entities.

We also have an interest of the executive and the regulator in preparing legislation for the regulation of crowdfunding in raising capital for loan purposes.

In that sense, I say that in Chile we are in an intermediate situation, there are advances in specific sectors; however, "FinTech" is still seen as a concept opposed to the traditional financial sector and that in my opinion something that should change, evolve more to a coexistence and a synergy between traditional financial aspects and more technological aspects, more modern, more linked to world start-ups.

Second question: What is the status of businesses that provide services with cryptocurrencies in Chile?

In terms of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, criptoactives in general, the situation in Chile is somewhat uneven.

On the one hand, the regulator recognizes that there are cryptocurrencies, the tax authority also recognizes that they exist, the tax authority cares that capital gains taxes are declared for operations related to cryptocurrencies.

However, there are few companies that currently operate in Chile in terms of cryptocurrencies, because it is very difficult, if not impossible or impossible to have bank accounts.

So, if you do not have access to bank accounts to perform currency exchange operations by cryptocurrency, then your business can not work.

Currently, there is a trial conducted before the Court of Defense of Free Competition in which Orionx and other cryptocurrency exchange companies are suing the banks for anti-competitive practices and this trial will probably reach the Supreme Court.

The banks have reacted in parallel with each other, closing accounts or prohibiting the opening of new accounts; then, the exercise of business models based on cryptocurrencies is not easy because an essential element is not currently available.

Third question: Do you consider that regulated entities in Chile are open or willing to adopt technology? blockchain?

On whether regulated entities are willing to work with blockchain, cryptocurrencies, I think we have to make a distinction.

Currently, regulated entities are not open to working with cryptocurrencies as a means of storing value, means of payment or speculative.

However, they have shown interest in the use of technology blockchain For purposes of optimizing operations or developing new products, I know that there are initiatives in this area but they are still at a fairly experimental level, they are not seeing the light.

And I think mainly that [the previous thing happens] not because of a technological issue, but because of a reputational issue that the public still can not distinguish between blockchain as technology and cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, as virtual currency.

When it is possible to distinguish more between both at the regulatory, legislative level, I believe that we will have greater progress in blockchain, in terms of blockchain, as technology.

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