Argentina’s Pro-Bitcoin Javier Milei Heads to Run-Off Election Against Sergio Massa

Milei has called for "dollarization" the country's economy and abolishing the central bank.

AccessTimeIconOct 23, 2023 at 3:56 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 30, 2023 at 2:55 p.m. UTC

Argentina will choose between current Finance Minister Sergio Massa and self-described anarcho-capitalist Javier Milei in next month’s presidential election.

In a surprise result in Sunday’s first round voting, Milei, with 30% of the tally, finished second to Massa’s 37%. Milei was thought to have been the favorite after winning the August primary presidential vote.

Milei has previously shown support for bitcoin, stating that it "represents the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.” Milei has also argued for the abolishment of Argentina’s central bank, calling it a “scam.”

Unlike El Salvador president Nayib Bukele, who spearheaded efforts to make bitcoin legal tender in that nation, Milei has called for a “dollarization” of Argentina’s economy, where the inflation rate recently hit 124.4%. However, according to Barclays analysts, consensus for a dollarization proposal does not seem to be that strong.

Massa is against dollarizing the economy and has previously said he wants to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) to help with Argentina's inflation crisis.

The run-off election will take place on November 19, with the two candidates aiming to siphon off support from yesterday’s third-place finisher Patricia Bullrich, who garnered about 24% of the vote.

Edited by Stephen Alpher.


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Lyllah Ledesma

Lyllah Ledesma is a CoinDesk Markets reporter currently based in Europe. She holds bitcoin, ether and small amounts of other crypto assets.

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