In the recent August presidential primary election, the outspoken pro-Bitcoin advocate, Javier Milei, emerged as a leading contender, causing ripples within Argentinian politics. His remarkable rise to prominence can be attributed to his embrace of a radical economic cncept that has ignited hope among the Argentinian populace. With the forthcoming Argentina Presidential election on the horizon, Milei has garnered broad-based support from those yearning for an escape from the nation’s economic turmoil and a path towards prosperity.
Cryptocurrency vs. Argentinian Pesos
Argentina boasts one of the world’s most substantial consumer bases for Bitcoin, with approximately one-third of its population utilizing Bitcoin for everyday financial transactions. This fervor for cryptocurrency is closely intertwined with the country’s ongoing financial crisis. While the rest of the world predominantly sees cryptocurrency as an investment vehicle, Argentina regards it primarily as a store of value.
Astoundingly, the adoption rate of cryptocurrency in Argentina has even surpassed that of El Salvador, a country whose president declared Bitcoin as the national currency in 2021. The value of Bitcoin, compared to the Argentinian Pesos, has notably surged, reaching an all-time high this August when the nation’s inflation rates soared. To date, Bitcoin has reached a pinnacle of 9.3 million ARS in September.
Despite the widespread integration of cryptocurrency into daily life, Argentina’s central bank, BCRA, continues to enforce stringent regulations on cryptocurrency transactions and trading within national banks. This stance was solidified when Banco Galicia’s efforts to offer crypto trading services in 2022 were thwarted by BCRA regulations.
Dollarization through Bitcoin
Javier Milei is often labeled as a ‘pro-Bitcoin advocate’ and is frequently compared to Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador, where Bitcoin holds the status of a national currency. However, a significant ideological difference separates the two. Bukele embraced Bitcoin to free his country from the shackles of dollarization, while Javier Milei ardently champions Bitcoin with the goal of introducing dollarization to Argentina. As a staunch liberalist, Milei advocates for the elimination of the Central Bank.
Not Without Controversy
Within the cryptocurrency community, Milei’s steadfast defense of people’s right to use any cryptocurrency has earned him admiration. However, his ultimate objective of ushering in dollarization in the country has left some disheartened. Milei’s approach to Bitcoin adoption has drawn criticism from various government institutions, most notably the IMF, which vehemently opposes cryptocurrency. Milei’s manifesto includes proposals to dollarize the country’s economy as a means of stabilizing the local currency.