BCRA sets $50 limits on foreign transactions

The Central Bank of Argentina (BCRA) has set a new $50 limit to any transactions completed abroad which involve gambling or betting services. 

The changes, which were announced on 31 October and came into effect on 1 November, also sees $50 caps set for transactions such as the transfer of funds to payment services and the transfer of funds to foreign investment accounts as well as the purchasing of foreign exchange currencies and cryptocurrencies.

The restrictions come as part of a growing campaign by the BCRA as it attempts to slow outflows of the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves and prevent further devaluation of the Argentinian Peso as to avoid a catastrophic default that it fears the country’s general election results may cause.

The bank released a statement which discussed digital assets, it read: “Acquisition of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies: It is prohibited to purchase BTC with [credit cards]. The only remaining alternative for this investment is to do so with funds transferred from a bank account.”

Alberto Fernandez recently defeated Mauricio Macri in a vote for Argentina’s presidency, with the Peso already devaluing as a result from $0.027 to $0.017.

Through Communication A 6823, the BCRA added that banks and local card issuers must receive prior approval to make payments abroad for the use of credit, debit or prepaid cards, stating: “Financial institutions and other local card issuers must have the prior compliance of the Central Bank to access the exchange market to make payments abroad for the use of credit, debit or prepaid cards issued in the country from [1 November], when such payments originate, directly or indirectly to through the use of international payment networks, in the following operations:

a) participation in gambling and betting of different types and / or,

b) the transfer of funds to accounts in Payment Service Providers and / or,

c) the transfer of funds to investment accounts in investment managers located abroad and / or,

d) the carrying out of foreign exchange operations and / or,

e) the acquisition of crypto assets in their different modalities.