Bitcoin is now the most valuable it’s ever been in Argentina following a crypto-friendly libertarian’s unlikely win in the country’s presidential primaries on Sunday.
Assets dropped in value and the Argentine peso (ARS) dipped, meanwhile, after anti-establishment candidate Javier Milei grabbed the top spot in the South American nation’s election and spooked investors.
But Bitcoin has held steady and, due to the dipping peso, hit an all-time high of 10.2 million ARS yesterday, according to CoinGecko. It has since dipped to 10.1 million ARS.
The all-time national high comes at a time when the country is suffering from one of the world’s highest levels of inflation, and the peso is rapidly losing value.
Digital assets are popular in the country, though, according to Chainalysis, which last year ranked Argentina as having the tenth highest rate of cryptocurrency adoption anywhere in the world.
Milei is a 52-year-old shaggy-haired economist with a penchant for rock music and leather jackets. He also has called central banks “a scam” and sung Bitcoin’s praises for its finite supply.
“Bitcoin is the natural reaction against the scam that are central banks,” he said last year.
Mainstream media outlets describe him as a “far-right populist,” but Argentinans are clearly giving him a chance because the country’s economy is in disarray.
According to the central bank, annual inflation in Argentina currently stands at 113%. That’s the highest in the region after Venezuela, and rising prices in Latin America’s third-largest economy have pushed many into poverty.
Social media-savvy Milei has said he wants to dollarize the economy and wants Argentina to distance itself from communist countries like Venezuela and China.
If he wins, will he make Argentina into a Bitcoin-friendly economy, too?