Crypto:
30253
Bitcoin:
$66.093
% 0.02
BTC Dominance:
%54.0
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Market Cap:
$2.41 T
% 1.30
Fear & Greed:
74 / 100
Bitcoin:
$ 66.093
BTC Dominance:
% 54.0
Market Cap:
$2.41 T

Argentines Turn to Bitcoin Amid Soaring Inflation, Dollarization Wanes

Argentina

Argentina’s inflation rate has skyrocketed to a staggering 276%, prompting a shift in how Argentines traditionally protect their wealth. Instead of the usual approach of converting pesos to US dollars, citizens are increasingly embracing Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation. This trend disrupts Argentina’s long-standing preference for dollarization during economic turmoil.

Bitcoin Purchases Hit 20-Month High

Local cryptocurrency exchange Lemon witnessed a surge in Bitcoin purchases, reaching their highest weekly volume in 20 months. This reflects a growing trend among Argentines seeking financial stability amidst a recession and crippling inflation.

Historically, exchanging Argentine pesos for US dollars served as a common strategy to combat economic volatility. However, this method has lost favor recently, coinciding with a 10% appreciation of the unofficial exchange rate compared to the dollar. Conversely, Bitcoin has experienced a near 60% rise against the US dollar within the same timeframe.

Lemon reported a significant increase in user activity, with nearly 35,000 Bitcoin purchases recorded in the week ending March 10th. This doubles the average weekly volume observed in the previous year. Similar trends are evident on other major Argentinian exchanges like Ripio and Belo.

Stricter Monetary Policy Strengthens Peso

A key factor influencing the peso’s recent strength is the government’s stricter control over the money supply. This policy, spearheaded by President Milei, restricts monetary expansion while the central bank focuses on replenishing its US dollar reserves.

Shifting Preferences: From USD to BTC

According to Manuel Beaudroit, CEO of digital wallet Belo, the volume of Bitcoin and Ether transactions has skyrocketed tenfold in 2024 compared to the same period last year. Interestingly, the proportion of stablecoin purchases, typically pegged to currencies like the US dollar, has decreased from 70% to 60%. This shift suggests Bitcoin’s rally is attracting more investors.

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Beaudroit explains, “Users tend to buy Bitcoin when they see its value rising, whereas stablecoins are often used for practical transactions and international payments.” With the ongoing Bitcoin surge, Argentines are diversifying their savings, seeking alternative investment opportunities beyond traditional dollar-based strategies to hedge against inflation.

The Argentinian government has further fueled this trend by introducing tax incentives for citizens to declare their cryptocurrency holdings in December 2023.


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