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Argentinian Presidential Frontrunners Pit BTC & Dollar Against CBDC

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A person’s hand reaches toward a digital button marked “CBDC.”
Source: photon_photo/Adobe

A leading Argentinian presidential candidate says he will launch a CBDC if he is elected – putting him on a collision course with a pro-Bitcoin dollarization advocate.

According to the media outlet Ambito, Sergio Massa, the country’s current Minister of Economy and a candidate for this month’s elections, called for the creation of a digital peso during a live debate.

He said:

“We are going to launch the Argentine digital currency. We are going to do it – globally – for all of Argentina.”

The peso has been battered by prolonged hyperinflation that has dragged the economy into a quagmire.

A graph showing inflation rates in Argentina from 2018 to 2023.

Massa’s main opponent is the pro-BTC populist Javier Milei.

Per the Buenos Aires Times, Milei’s support stands at 34%, with Massa at 29%.

In August’s primaries, Massa gathered 27% of the vote, with Milei winning with 30.5%.

Experts claim Milei and Massa will face a run-off vote following October 22’s election.

Unlike the Economy Minister, Milei proposes scrapping the peso and dollarizing the Argentine economy.

Argentina’s leading presidential candidates Sergio Massa and Javier Milei speaking during a televised debate.
Argentina’s leading presidential candidates Sergio Massa and Javier Milei speaking during a televised debate.

Will Argentina Adopt USD, BTC, or a CBDC?

Massa claimed Milei has succumbed to “the temptation of the dollar.”

The minister urged voters:

“Be patriotic, defend our currency, and do not promote the use of the dollar!”

Massa added:

“Milei proposes a dollarization model that only three countries in the world have adopted thus far: Zimbabwe, El Salvador, and Ecuador.”

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Milei has claimed that the peso has become a vehicle for government corruption.

His manifesto contains outlines of a plan to remove the peso from the economy and fully adopt the US fiat by 2025-2026.

Political rivals have called dollarization a “joke,” and have urged him to consider an El Salvador-style adoption of Bitcoin.

In August, Bitcoiners were joyed to see Milei appear on live TV to destroy a Central Bank-shaped piñata.