There is no legal framework in Colombia with specific rules on cryptocurrencies. However, some government bodies have made statements regarding their use. The Banco de la República (Colombia’s central bank) classifies digital currencies as cryptoassets, clarifying that they are not legal tender, foreign currency, securities, or financial instruments. The bank has stated it neither promotes nor prohibits their use in the country.
The Superintendencia Financiera (SF), which supervises the banking system in Colombia, warned in a June 2017 circular that bitcoin is not currency and therefore may not be considered legal tender susceptible of cancelling debts. The SF emphasized that the Colombian peso is the only legal currency, and that the Banco de la República has the exclusive authority to issue money in Colombia. According to the SF, cryptocurrencies have no value under capital market laws and therefore are also not recognized as securities. The SF warned controlled financial institutions that they are not authorized to protect, invest, broker, or manage virtual money operations. The SF called on persons to become informed that they assume the risks related to virtual currencies if they choose to trade them, since these currencies do not have any private or state guarantee.
Currently, several of lawmakers and interest groups are actively promoting bills aimed at adopting rules for operations with digital currencies in the country.
II. Tax Treatment of Cryptocurrency Mining
The National Tax and Customs Directorate (DIAN), which administers revenue laws in Colombia, considers bitcoin and digital currencies to be assets, giving them the status for tax purposes similar to material goods. It has said that mining activities are subject to income tax on the profits received by the operators. The tax applies on the compensation derived from mining either by means of obtaining new coins as a result of the transaction confirmation and validation service or the receipt of a fee.
The high cost of electricity, the drop in the price of digital currencies, the high price of mining hardware and the difficulty levels of the networks to earn rewards make mining not profitable in Colombia on a small scale.
No reference to staking has been found in Colombia.
Prepared by Graciela Rodriguez-Ferrand
Senior Foreign Legal Specialist
 Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia, Carta Circular 52 de 2017, Riesgos Potenciales Asociados a las Operaciones Realizadas con “Monedas Electronicas-Criptomonedas o MonedasVirtuales” (June 22, 2017), https://perma.cc/V4MW-TNUD.
 DiMateo, supra note 1.
 DiMateo, supra note 1.
Last Updated: 02/05/2021