Category Archives: Buenos Aires

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Argentinian Economy Nosedive Attracts Crypto Investors as Peso Falls

Argentina is not quite undergoing the pain of Venezuela but it’s beginning to feel the economic pressure, driving numerous investors to Bitcoin as a safe haven for their pesos.

The Argentinian economy has shrunk by 4% during the second quarter, with President Mauricio Macri’s government announcing that it expects the economy to shrink further by 2.4% this year. One of the causes of the slump has been attributed to a drought that occurred early in 2018 which severely damaged soybean and corn production.

Fausto Spotorno, Director of the Buenos Aires-based Center for Economic Studies observed that the downturn was due to crop failure, saying: “That really hurt growth in the quarter… The second quarter is when we harvest soybeans and corn, so there was a big drop in agricultural production.”

As a result, peso’s value has fallen. This has affected the morale of both investors and savers, consequently opening them up to the Bitcoin market. Economist and mathematician D.H. Taylor writes:

“Argentinians are moving in large numbers out of their peso and into a more stable currency, BTC. The numbers being witnessed by the markets in BTC are surging from Argentina,” adding that “The stability being offered by the digital currency is far greater than the peso and Argentinians are moving in quickly.”

The Argentinian government is now looking at Bitcoin with real intent as the economy begins to falter and efforts by the Central Bank have made absolutely no impact. As a result, it’s been reported that the Central bank may even be considering investing their currency reserves into Bitcoin and US dollars to gain some stability in case of a further need to devaluate the peso.

In May of this year, a massive peso selloff forced the government to seek support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), receiving a $50 billion bailout and contributions towards a public works fund as inflation continues to rise.

Meanwhile, the demand for BTC is rising with 12 ATMs scheduled for the capital Buenos Aries and plans to saturate the country with more machines, and more merchants are now accepting payments in Bitcoin.

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“Bitcoineta” Road Trip Hits Argentinian Highways With Bitcoin Story

Two Argentinian non-profit organizations, Bitcoin Argentina and Bitcoin Americana, are touring rural Argentina spreading knowledge about Bitcoin among local communities, Cointelegraph reports.

Local news outlet Infobae has reported that they’ve decided to coin the name “Bitcoineta” for the project by blending together Bitcoin with ‘camioneta’, the Spanish word for van, their mode of travel for their huge road trip which will take them across the nation.

The Bitmobile has been rigged out for the long road trip, complete with a movie projector, in which the team hopes to reach each village and town in the country across Argentina’s 1 million square miles, disseminating Bitcoin and showing education films about cryptocurrency along the way. Founder of the project, Gabriel Kurman says that he wants to show people how to “take advantage” of cryptocurrencies.

The van set out from Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires on 1 June, reaching the town of Chasomus, with a population of 30,000, some 120 kilometers away, to give a short lecture on blockchain and cryptocurrencies for the locals. Once leaving Buenos Aires province Bitcoineta will visit the regions of La Pampa, Santa Fe, and Cordoba. The team has said that it plans to extend their educational road trip to other parts of Latin America sometime in the future.

The visibility and profile of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in Argentina are on the rise. It plans to become the world’s biggest player with pre-agreements to install 4,000 Bitcoin ATMs around the country as part of a new government plan to install 30,000 machines in the future. The South American country is currently home to more than 10 cryptocurrency exchanges. In May, one of the country’s banks, Banco Masventas, announced it would enable clients to use Bitcoin for international payments.

Bitcoin has been greeted in Argentina with enthusiasm partly because countries with histories of inflation and devaluation of their currencies see the digital currency as one that can conserve the value of user investments and savings. After President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s tightening of currency controls debased the Argentine peso (ARS) in 2012, Bitcoin has gained increasing popularity.

 

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