Argentina’s new president, Mauricio Macri, is good news for the legal status of Bitcoin in the country. He is the one behind the sponsorship of the First Bitcoin Forum in Buenos Aires, earlier in July 2015. The perceived stance of the leader of “Cambiemos” (Spanish for “Let’s change”) is a far cry from the official statement issued in 2014 by the Argentine Central Bank. The statement was clearly cautious towards Bitcoin, warning about its qualities and declaring that it didn’t have legal tender status.
However, for Bitcoin all good news are bad news, as all who were interested in Argentina’s high inflation rates as benefits for Bitcoin may now have to look elsewhere. The International Credit Rating agency Moody’s has already raised their outlook on Argentina, since it is a widely held belief—and it was used against the new president by the opposition—that Macri will give a prompt resolution to the “holdout crisis” currently in effect.
Furthermore, the future undoing of controversial measures such as the dollar “cepo” (Spanish for clamp), should normalize the exchange rate for dollars and eliminate the ongoing black market. One of the main uses of the cryptocurrency in Argentina is to acquire dollar IOUs from exchanges, an effective and hassle-free way of “dollarizing” savings portfolios. Much better than commuting to illegal “cuevas” (Spanish for caves) where dollars are exchanged for Argentine pesos in a relatively underground environment.
The prospect of Argentina becoming a normal country will drive irregularity-fueled demand for Bitcoin down. As the “cepo” will most probably be abolished in the near future it will affect Argentine Bitcoin companies. With the dollar market currently running under a crazy and unfair setting, it’s much more convenient to have a company process transactions for their clients with Bitcoin. That is very likely to change.
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