Exchange service supports Argentina's USD black market

Bitcoin exchange services are starting to wake up to Argentina's blue dollar rate - the USD black market.

Jun 7, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2021 at 10:52 a.m. UTC

The difference in the official and unofficial rate for Argentinian pesos is now so pronounced that at least one bitcoin exchange has acknowledged it. has decided to publish a 'blue dollar' exchange rate for the currency.

The escrow-based decentralised bitcoin exchange service has produced a symbol for the blue dollar rate called XAR, and is using it to calculate bitcoin exchange rates.

The black market rate in Argentina is a result of rocketing inflation, and tension over a possible default. This has led Argentinians to hoard dollars, while the authorities have imposed strict controls on purchasing US dollars through official channels. This has led the blue rate to rise.

“People from Argentina are requesting us to add these blue market trades because the official rate is useless,” said Jeremias Kangas, founder of, who would not reveal where he sourced the blue rate data. “The official rate is useless for trading bitcoins or anything else, so we have decided to add this blue market rate.”

Late last month, the Argentine government approved legislation pardoning tax dodgers who invest their undeclared foreign currency holdings in the construction, oil and gas industries. The amnesty will allow the investors to buy dollar bonds.

estimates the historical blue rate (i.e. USD black market) against the official dollar rate over the last two years.


The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.