Bitcoin has tapped a new all-time high against the Argentine peso, shortly after a Bitcoin-supportive presidential candidate came first in the nation’s primary elections.
The asset now trades for $10,258,244.60 ARS, up 21% over the past 5 days.
Pressure on the Peso
Compared to the US dollar, Bitcoin has performed remarkably well against the peso over time given that the latter currency’s persistently high inflation.
Last month, the nation’s annual inflation rate skyrocketed to 115% up from 98% in January. Meanwhile, as BTC is up 76% year to date in USD terms, its risen 249% against the peso in that same timeframe.
Yet a large portion of those gains came only after Argentina’s primary elections over the weekend, which saw Javier Milei – leader of La Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances) score over 30% of the vote.
A keen critic of inflation, Milei wants to entirely abolish Argentina’s central bank, replacing the peso with the dollar. He’s also pitched solving some of Argentina’s inflationary issues using Bitcoin, which proponents praise as a potential inflation hedge due to its fixed supply of 21 million coins.
“What Bitcoin is representing is the return of money to its original creator: the private sector,” the politician has stated in previous interviews.
“Bitcoin has an algorithm that one day it will reach a certain amount, and there is no more, and it can compete with other currencies,” he added.
Argentina is currently one of the top 20 countries for crypto adoption worldwide, according to data from both Statista and Chainalysis.
Can Argentina Eradicate the Peso?
Shortly after Milei’s surprise success on Sunday, the Argentine government opted to devalue the peso by another 20% early on Monday – roughly the same amount by which Bitcoin has risen against it since that time.
A devaluing peso only makes life more difficult for locals, who witness the purchasing power of their savings erode in real time.
“The more the dollar rises, the more expensive things become,” said Marta Gisela Barrera, a 29-year-old recycler struggling to buy food for her children, to the Associated Press Monday morning. “I don’t know what’s going to happen anymore.”
Were Milei to become President following October’s election, he would still need approval from Congress to entirely replace the peso. Alternatively, he’s suggested having a referendum or “non-binding popular vote” on the matter, though it’s still unclear if this would be enough without lawmakers’ support.
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