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Argentina’s Presidential Candidates Bitcoin and CBDCs Debate Trigger Reactions

David Pokima
Last updated: | 2 min read
Source: GoodIdeas/Adobe

Argentina’s presidential candidate, Sergio Massa has touted a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to solve the country’s worsening inflation crisis.

In the nation’s first Presidential debate, Massa who currently serves as Economy Minister wants a digital currency to put the economy at the same pace with others globally.

We are going to launch the digital currency in Argentina. We are going to do it globally for all of Argentina accompanied by a laundering law that allows those who have money abroad to bring it and use it freely without new taxes in parallel.”

Tightening hyperinflation is a central issue among all political parties in the election as the data places the country’s annual inflation at 115% with a poverty rate of 40%.

The Minister made the call to set the ball rolling with a CBDC and drew comparisons with the future of finance through easy trades.

Just like your children propose to trade with their phones or cards in their ‘platform economies,’ we will do it globally for all of Argentina,” he added. 

Massa against dollarization 

Massa also uses the opportunity to speak against the plans of pro-Bitcoin candidate Javier Milei who recently proposed adopting the dollar in the country to tackle inflation. 

He urged patriots to vehemently reject this policy as it would be bad for the future policies in the country.

Dollarization is what generates the temptation of the dollar. Be patriots [and] defend our currency, do not promote the use of it [the U.S. dollar].” 

Milei has been a strong supporter of Bitcoin declaring support for the cryptocurrency and firing heavy shots at the Central Bank calling for the institution to be completely abolished.

He described the Central Bank as scammers and fiat as a means for politicians to use inflation in crippling the economy. 

The country’s election would be held on Oct. 22 with two polls showing a slight lead for Milei. 

Crypto community rejects CBDC move 

Manuel Ferrari, a Bitcoin Argentina board member, called the decision a distraction from pressing issues in the country like triple-digit inflation caused by “brutal levels of corruption.” 

He further raised concerns with the design of the CBDC and its implementation linking it to a tax-generating move.

Argentina has over 50% of its commerce that operates informally and with cash,” he said, explaining that the proposal would “destroy what supports most of our country,” he added. 

In the United States, critics have also pushed against plans to roll out a CBDC describing it as a form of government control. 

Crypto-friendly lawmakers and Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis have fired back at Biden’s administration’s war on the industry with promises to stop anti-crypto policies.