Bitcoin advocate Javier Milei wins Argentine presidential race

Bitcoin advocate Javier Milei has emerged victorious in Argentina’s presidential run-off election on Nov. 19, surpassing his rival Sergio Massa.

With nearly 99% of votes counted, reports indicate that Milei secured a commanding lead with over 55% of the vote, surpassing his nearest competitor by almost 3 million votes.

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Milei leads Massa by over 10% point, with nearly all votes counted | Source: Bloomberg

Argentina welcomes a BTC-friendly leader

Sergio Massa, Argentina’s Minister of Economy, congratulated Milei on his victory after over 90% of votes were counted, ahead of the official results. Milei is scheduled to take office on Dec. 10.

Ex-US President Donald Trump congratulated Milei on his win, expressing his belief that Milei would “Make Argentina Great Again!”

He was also congratulated by MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who said, “Bitcoin is hope for Argentina. Congratulations J.Milei.”

Bitcoin advocate Max Keiser has suggested a meeting between Milei and El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele, hinting at potential Bitcoin-centric discussions.

Reports also emerged of hyper-inflated Argentinian pesos being tossed into the air like confetti to celebrate the victory.

Argentina’s economic woes, particularly the inflation crisis, have been a pressing issue. The Argentine peso has seen over a 140% increase in annual inflation in the past year.

This economic instability has led many Argentinians to turn to digital currencies like Bitcoin to hedge against inflation and to bypass strict capital controls.

Milei seeks to end central bank

Milei has been openly critical of Argentina’s central bank, labeling it a fraudulent institution that facilitates inflationary tax. He views Bitcoin (BTC) as a step towards restoring monetary control to the private sector.

While Milei has yet to propose Bitcoin as a legal tender or reserve asset, his plans include replacing the Argentine peso with the US dollar.

The Argentine government has had a fluctuating stance on digital assets.

While the government had warned about the risks of digital assets in 2014, it shifted its perspective by 2017, acknowledging the potential economic benefits of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

In 2019, the central bank regulated cryptocurrency exchanges, enforcing anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures. However, that same year, Argentina restricted the purchase of cryptocurrencies using credit cards in an attempt to stabilize the peso.

The future of Bitcoin in Argentina remains uncertain, but Milei’s election could be a step towards embracing digital currencies, potentially following El Salvador’s lead in adopting Bitcoin as legal tender.

Bitcoin hits new highs

Bitcoin has reached an all-time high against the Argentinian peso, with the current rate exceeding 13 million ARS for one Bitcoin, as per the latest data from CoinGecko.

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BTC/ARS 5 years chart | Source: CoinGecko

Over the past five years, BTC has seen a staggering 7,400% rise against the Argentine peso, with a 383% increase over the past year and a 26.8% rise in the last month, reflecting the growing interest and reliance on cryptocurrencies in the face of economic instability.

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