On Sunday, Argentina elected right-wing Javier Milei as its new president. The self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist has vowed to end the country’s recurrent economic crises, rising poverty, social tension, and triple-digit inflation. As part of the radical economic policies he has pushed so far, Milei has made it clear that crypto will be a key instrument to revive the country’s economy.
Milei raised over 14.4M votes to beat Sergio Massa’s 11.5M, becoming the first candidate to win the presidency without being affiliated with any of the sides that have long ruled the country. The victory surprised most experts given the results of the first round, which saw Massa win with 36.7% of the votes over Milei’s 30%.
Argentinian Crypto Enthusiasts Rejoice
Having made a name for himself as an unusual politician, Milei’s views on cryptocurrency have also distinguished themselves from those of his peers. Back in 2018, Milei openly stated that he “loved the idea” that inspired cryptocurrencies but didn’t see it working at a national scale as “trashy politicians won’t accept competition”.
Milei has continued to proclaim his support for crypto over the years, a view that has been mirrored by his cabinet. Diana Mondino, who could serve as Milei’s foreign minister, has made it clear that the “free competition of currencies” is key to the upcoming government’s economic strategy.
Mondino’s remarks mean that very soon, millions of Argentinian employees could be getting paid in Bitcoin, a possibility that has been gaining traction in recent years.
So far, the prospects of a crypto-friendly economic reform have been well received by the local and international crypto community. Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong was quick to congratulate Milei after his victory, inviting the new president to “talk about how we can help achieve economic freedom for the people of Argentina”.
Who is Javier Milei?
Known to his supporters as “the madman”, “the lion”, and “the wig”, Javier Milei owes his nicknames not only to his physical appearance but also to his fierce, passionate, and uncompromising speeches.
While his popularity would suggest otherwise, Javier Milei is a recent figure in Argentinian politics, having started his political career only three years ago after announcing he would be “joining the mud fight”.
Milei quickly became a political powerhouse thanks to his anti-establishment rhetoric and push for radical economic policies, which many Argentinians quickly would see as the only move forward.
A self-proclaimed anarcho-capitalist, Milei has been especially vocal about the need to “blow up the central bank”, cut public spending, dollarize the economy, reduce the age of legal responsibility, and open the economy to the global markets.
Cryptocurrency is a Big Deal in Argentina
The existence of an official and black market exchange rate for the Argentinian peso means that the country’s monetary base is somewhere between $20B and $8B. The last time this happened, Argentinians found themselves unable to withdraw their money as the government sought to stop its bankruptcy.
With the current government implementing tight capital controls, most Argentinians are unable to access foreign currencies like the US Dollar to protect themselves from such a scenario. As such, cryptocurrency has long served as a lifeline to millions of Argentinians looking to safeguard their savings from rapid inflation and devaluation.
Crypto companies like Lemon Cash, Bitso, Satoshi Tango, and Ripio have flourished over the past years as demand for crypto-based financial services continues to grow. According to Chainalysis, Argentina leads the region with a raw transaction volume of $85.4 billion received as 5 out of 45 million Argentinians use cryptocurrencies in some way.
One thing is for sure – with how badly the nation’s economy has been managed, crypto can do no harm!