There is no legislation in Guatemala that regulates virtual currencies. However, digital currencies are not explicitly prohibited in the country. This means that cryptocurrencies can be used in accordance with the norms of civil law.
In Guatemala, organizations providing services related with digital currencies, which are called virtual asset service providers (VASPs), do not require a license or special regulation to operate or provide their services.
To work legally in Guatemala, VASP requires only the same registrations as any other commercial service provider.
As for cryptocurrencies in the country, the most common services are exchange services, peer-to-peer exchanges and over-the-counter services.
In Guatemala a large number of people do not have access to traditional banking services. For this reason, the widespread adoption of virtual currencies simplifies the access to financial tools. Gradually, the level of adoption of cryptocurrencies in the country continues to grow.
Other benefits of using digital assets include lower costs, greater flexibility, and reduced bureaucracy when making cryptocurrency transfers.
Guatemala is a country with a high rate of remittances, which accounted for 13.8% of its gross domestic product in 2019, or $10.508 mln.
The main problems preventing the widespread use of digital currencies in the country are the limited Internet signal in the poorest parts of the country, the lack of technological and financial education among the local population and limited access to smartphones.
Guatemalan citizens are showing an increasing interest in digital currencies. The adoption of cryptocurrencies is growing as more and more virtual asset service providers start operating across the country.
However, the increase in the use of digital currencies has led to a rise in the number of frauds, scams and other crimes related to virtual currencies.
The Superintendency of Banks, after consulting on the use of virtual currencies or assets, informed the population that in accordance with Monetary Law, the monetary unit of Guatemala is Quetzal.
Only the Bank of Guatemala can issue banknotes and coins within the territory of the state. For this reason, virtual currencies are not legal tender in the country.
The country's bank also warned the country's population about the risks associated with the use of cryptocurrencies due to their high volatility and a high level of fraud and scams.
Citizens of the country are actively using cryptocurrencies and the adoption of digital assets continues to grow. Residents of Guatemala are increasingly using digital assets, and thanks to OWNR Wallet, you can now buy cryptocurrency with your credit/debit card.