Bitcoin Demand in Argentina at a Two-Year Peak

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Amid the persistent decline of the Argentine peso (ARS), Argentines are turning to Bitcoin (BTC) as a means to safeguard their savings, driving the nation to its highest demand for the cryptocurrency in 20 months, as reported recently.

According to data unveiled by cryptocurrency exchange Lemon Cash, nearly 35,000 customers in Argentina purchased Bitcoin in the week ending March 10, marking a significant surge compared to the weekly average in 2023, doubling the numbers. This remarkable increase in demand is largely attributed to the continuing depreciation of the national currency.

As reported earlier by TheCoinRise, crypto exchanges have been investing heavily in Argentina, with OKX recently debuting its official Web3 wallet and exchange platform in the Latin American country.

Argentine Peso Continues to Fall

Over the past twelve months, the value of the ARS against the US dollar has plummeted fourfold, dwindling from 0.0049 USD per ARS in March 2023 to 0.0012 USD at the time of the report. The deteriorating purchasing power of the peso has prompted Argentines to seek alternative stores of value, with Bitcoin emerging as a favored option.

Interest in Bitcoin Surges

While Lemon Cash has witnessed a notable uptick in Bitcoin purchases, other major exchanges in Argentina, such as Ripio and Belo, have reported similar trends. Manuel Beaudroi, CEO of the digital wallet Belo, noted that stablecoin purchases in Argentina declined from 70% to 60% as Bitcoin’s recent price surge garnered more interest among users.

Beaudroi explained, “The user decides to buy Bitcoin when they see the news that the currency is going up, while stablecoin is more pragmatic and many times used for transactional purposes, as a vehicle to make payments abroad.” He also highlighted a tenfold increase in Bitcoin and Ether volumes in 2024 compared to the same period last year.

Interest in Stablecoins Persists

However, reports indicate that interest in stablecoins persists, with some Argentines opting to procure USD stablecoins through black market exchanges, colloquially known as “crypto caves,” to circumvent stringent currency controls and combat the rising inflation of the ARS.

Bitcoin Adoption

Despite the challenges, the use of digital currencies for specific transactions is gradually gaining traction in Argentina. 

In December 2023, Diana Mondino, the minister of foreign affairs, international trade, and worship, announced a decree aimed at economic reform and deregulation that would permit the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country under certain conditions.

Further, an Argentinean futures index based on Bitcoin went live on the Matba Rofex exchange after receiving approval from the country’s securities authority.

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