- Argentine football team Club Atlético Banfield has been penalised for selling a player for cryptocurrency
- Banfield sold Giuliano Galoppo to São Paulo for 8 million USDC, but this upset the central bank
- Banfield has been banned from using the country’s foreign exchange for 90 days
An Argentine football team has been suspended from using the country’s foreign exchange market for 90 days as punishment for signing a player using cryptocurrency. Club Atlético Banfield, which is based in Buenos Aires, last week sold midfielder Giuliano Galoppo to Brazilian giant São Paulo for 8 million USDC, but the country’s central bank took umbrage, telling Banfield it must convert the crypto to local fiat currency and banning it from the Mercado Único y Libre de Cambios (MULC), the foreign exchange market in Argentina.
Galoppo Sale Lands Banfield with 90-day Ban
The deal for Galoppo was mediated by Latin American exchange Bitso and is the first of its kind for the region, but it could well be the last. It appears that Argentina’s parlous economic state pushed Banfield to USDC as an alternative transfer medium – in March the country sought an emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which it was only allowed if it promised not to adopt cryptocurrency in any form as a sovereign currency.
After the use of USDC became public, the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic insisted that Banfield must convert the received USDC into Argentine pesos and banned it from using the MULC for three months for conducting cryptocurrency operations and violating domestic laws.
Galoppo isn’t the first player to be signed for cryptocurrency (that honour goes to Omar Faruk), but he is the first signing that has resulted in a ban for the selling club. Clearly, Argentina has no plans to renege on its promise to the IMF.