Argentina’s tax authority dismantles a crypto-mining farm

  • In a ‘mega operation’ that resulted in 40 arrests, Argentina’s tax authority dismantled an underground crypto-mining farm
  • The mining farm would have operated from a shed in Quilmes
  • 70 raids were carried out by local authorities and agencies resulting in the confiscation of cash, vehicles, firearms, electronics and office supplies

In a so-called “mega operation”, the Argentine National Tax Authority dismantled an undeclared cryptocurrency mining farm, leading to the arrest of 40 people. This was the latest in a series of crackdowns on cryptocurrency in Argentina.

According to a statement, the tax authority, which goes by the Spanish name AFIP, worked with local agencies to carry out 70 searches. He seized more than a hundred cell phones and SIM cards, cash, automobiles, firearms, computers and various office supplies such as printers, memory cards and USB drives.

AFIP has stepped up investigations related to digital assets

The mining farm would have been based in a shed in Quilmes, a municipality 20 km southeast of Buenos Aires. Authorities investigated the alleged theft of electricity to conceal crypto mining activities and discovered that the farm was running on stolen cables.

Since Carlos Castagneto took over as director at the end of July, AFIP has multiplied the investigations it carries out into the operations of digital assets.

In September, the agency announced that it had uncovered three cryptocurrency mining websites that allegedly concealed their mining activities by not reporting them correctly.

According to AFIP, the organization has specialized divisions capable of identifying undeclared crypto farms across the country based on high electricity levels.

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Cryptocurrency mining is not a crime defined by the penal code

In a statement, AFIP said that the agents verify the existence of the corresponding import documents for the equipment and the correct recording of the mining activity and the income received.

Recent raids have raised concerns about the legality of crypto mining, despite the fact that the Argentine government’s crackdown on crypto mining appears to be focused on undeclared operations and equipment.

To be clear, the nonprofit NGO Bitcoin Argentina has made it clear that crypto mining is not a crime per se as long as it complies with local regulations.

Cryptocurrency mining is not an activity that in itself can be considered clandestine or illegal, the NGO Bitcoin Argentina wrote in a September 27 blog post. Cryptocurrency mining is not a criminal code crime.

Steve Anderson
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