Argentina has been facing financial distrust and trauma for ages. It even witnessed a time in the late 90s when most people got their bank accounts frozen with savings vanished. Jerónimo Ferrer recalls that time as a formative memory of the Argentinean crushing financial crisis. Argentina has several economic experts who keep an eye on the unofficial exchange rate of the local currency and US dollars.
Mr. Ferrer is among those experts who have gone a step forward. He runs a financial walking tour where he guides tourists about the restrictions the nation faces. In the tour known as ‘Our Local Crazy Economy with Bitcoin Tour of Bitcoin Aires’, he explains how Argentines experience problems, including limited foreign currency transactions and banned payments for international flight installments.
Mr. Ferrer offers a primer on digital currency, specifically Bitcoin. He explains why he deems BTC is the best substitute for the unstable and controlled local currency, the Argentine peso.
He believes restrictions lead to the need for tools to get freedom. For Argentines, cryptocurrency meets basic needs, whereas global crypto enthusiasts consider decentralized digital currency the primary way to make money.
According to Mr. Ferrer, he has more trust in software and mathematics than he does in politicians. He thinks BTC should not be a brainer for the people of Argentina. The government has intervened in the economy in several ways to lead cryptocurrency to get a grip in Argentina. It is not expensive to run energy-gaining bitcoin mining because of the low electricity cost.
According to the Alternative Finance department of the University of Cambridge Centre guesses that traders use electricity around 137 terawatts for bitcoin mining every year. It is almost the same amount of electricity used in some countries like Poland or Norway. While producing this much electricity can increase the global carbon dioxide emissions, it is hard to identify how much it could.
Nonetheless, Argentina eclipses such environmental problems with financial concerns. Some early crypto adopters in the country prefer relatively unpredictable currency to the extremely volatile peso. And Bitcoin may help those crypto users buffer against high inflation because of the limited amount of currency that they can create.
Ms. Maria Mercedes Etchegoyen, a specialized lawyer in intellectual property, says inflation is an ever-present concern for Argentines. The yearly inflation rate staggers at over 50 percent. It led people to notice the situation and look for an alternative asset to protect their money.
Ms. Etchegoyen is also a member of the Argentine NGO Bitcoin committee. She has a significant role in starting the crypto-girls community to tap into the enhanced interest in digital currency during the COVID-19 era. She says, the government shows a relaxed attitude to digital currency and has not introduced any specific regulation on the crypto assets.
On the other hand, the Central Bank of Argentina has issued warnings about crypto-related scams several times. While these warnings acknowledge a limited level of crypto use, they also suggest fast-growing merit concerns.
For instance, Ms. Etchegoyen has concerns about the uneven access to digital assets. She says cryptocurrency is the preserve of a small group of young male people who are tech-savvy and wealthy. Mr. Ferrer says Argentina has a clear need to embrace cryptocurrency as it is people’s money, and it is the only asset that politicians cannot destroy.