2018 was a disastrous year for cryptocurrencies. One bitcoin costed $17.3K dollars in December 2017, but in December of the next year, it only retained 20% of that value. Skeptics once again raised their voices: cryptocurrencies are a fraud; a Ponzi scheme replicated globally.
In this scenario, Argentina has told a different story. Perhaps because they are right in the opposite hemisphere, for them the crypto winter has been summer. The devaluation of bitcoin does not scare them. They have already lived for several decades with a currency that is continually falling. Nobody would be surprised that they adopt with enthusiasm a currency that, despite its volatility, has shown more stability than the national money.
Would a government adopt a descentralized coin?
Still, it is surprising that the Argentine government itself takes the initiative. The Minister of Transportation, Luciano Verardo, stated that buses would accept payments with bitcoins. The Ministry of Production and Labor, meanwhile, announced investments in projects that use the blockchain.
Now it is the Deputy Minister of Finance, Felix Martín Soto, who gives the note. At a meeting in Beijing, Soto said the government should address crypto and blockchain technology as a way to promote Argentina’s financial inclusion and reduce state costs.
At this meeting, held with Huobi Group CEO Leon Li, the Argentine minister also said that the promotion of crypto-industry in the country would help reduce its demand for dollars, which will help stabilize the local market and attract global investment.
Soto, who leads the international financial relations of Argentina, expressed the interest that his country has in Chinese investments.
“We would like to learn from Huobi to participate in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. […] Through tokenization on the Huobi platform, for example, Argentina’s abundant agricultural, mineral and energy resources could be well financed by global investors. “
Director General of the Office of Bilateral External Finances of Argentina, Javier Matías Mana also attended the meeting. The officials discussed a possible expansion of the Chinese Huobi exchange to Argentina. The Deputy Minister of Finance concluded that “with Huobi’s experience in blockchain and cryptocurrencies, Argentina can accelerate its pace towards the era of digital assets.”
Founded in China in 2013, Huobi is one of the world’s leading crypto exchanges, which currently ranks 12th worldwide in terms of adjusted daily trade volume. Despite a massive bear market in 2018, the exchange recently reported a 100 percent growth in the operations in 2018 compared to 2017.
President of Argentina met a crypto-investor
The news follows a recent meeting between Argentine President Mauricio Macri and crypto-investor and businessman Tim Draper. Draper told the president that Bitcoin’s legalization (BTC) would improve the country’s economic situation. According to Draper, the adoption of cryptos and blockchain in the country can attack essential problems of the Argentine economy, including the devaluation of the Argentine peso and the associated brain drain.