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Colombia Crypto Developments Coming Thick and Fast

Tim Alper
Last updated: | 2 min read

Colombian cryptocurrency enthusiasts saw out an eventful end to September: The country’s biggest star embraced crypto currencies, as lawmakers debated imposing regulations and taxes, and the country’s biggest exchange pleaded for an end to a banking freeze-out.

Source: iStock/garytog

James Rodriguez, Golden Boot winner at the 2014 World Cup and currently playing for Bayern Munich in Germany, officially launched a token called JR10, in conjunction with Chinese blockchain company SelfSell. The news follows on from a raft of football clubs in France, Italy and Ukraine, which all last month announced they would be getting into crypto-related businesses.

Rodriguez is a Colombian icon following his World Cup performances. He was named “man of the year” in 2014, and has scored 21 goals in 66 matches for his country.

James Rodriguez. Source: Twitter

Per El Pais, Rodriguez fans will be able to use the token to buy exclusive memorabilia in online auctions, and bid to buy boots and shirts that the player has worn during matches. Token holders will also be allowed to buy tickets for meet-and-greet sessions or matches using the token.

SelfSell first announced the deal in summer this year, with a pre-sale event and a token giveaway.

A number of retired megastars – such as Michael Owen, Didier Drogba and Ronaldinho – have already launched tokens, but Rodriguez’s move marks the first time a currently active superstar of Rodriguez’s magnitude has issued a cryptocurrency.

The launch comes as Colombia’s parliament debates a private members’ bill that – if passed – could see the introduction of crypto-specific regulations and taxes in the country. Per the bill, companies that wish to trade cryptocurrencies “must obtain authorization from a competent authority” – namely Colombia’s Ministry of Information Technology and Communications.

The bill would also see traders hit with a flat 5% tax fee for both domestic and international cryptocurrency transactions, with a portion of that fee going to fund regulatory bodies.

Per Colombian media outlet Dinero, the Colombian Software Federation (Fedesoft), the Fintech Colombia Association and the Blockchain Colombia Foundation have recently made a joint statement condemning the bill’s “inconsistencies and deficiencies.” The organizations claim the draft law “demonstrates a lack of knowledge about the operation and characteristics of cryptocurrencies.”

Furthermore, the country’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, Buda, is currently embroiled in a legal battle after leading banks in the country abruptly froze the platform’s bank accounts in July this year. Late last week, Buda’s CEO appealed to the country’s new president – Iván Duque Márquez – to overturn the ban.
Weekly LocalBitcoins, a peer-to-peer bitcoin marketplace, volume (in bitcoin) in Colombia: