Tether and Circle Stablecoin Purchases Dominate in Argentina

The country has long suffered from economic troubles and the inflation rate last year rose above 200%.

AccessTimeIconFeb 12, 2024 at 6:35 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 8, 2024 at 9:25 p.m. UTC

Argentina, the nation which recently elected self-described "anarcho-capitalist" Javier Milei as president, has the largest purchases and holdings of stablecoins in Latin America over the past six months, according to a report by Mexican-founded crypto exchange Bitso.

Dealing with a severe economic crisis and plunging peso, 60% of Argentine crypto purchases on Bitso were for dollar-based stablecoins USDT and USDC and just 13% of buys were for bitcoin.

This compares to Colombia, Brazil and Mexico, where stablecoin purchases ranged between 31% and 40% of total crypto buys.

Argentines were responding to current “political and economic context, which has promoted the acquisition of stablecoins as an alternative to inflation and devaluation,” said Bitso.

Argentina is Latin America’s second-largest country by population and third-largest economy but has long suffered from economic troubles. The nation’s annual inflation rate soared to 211.4% in 2023. A Chainalysis report in 2023 found that Argentina is second in Latin America for crypto adoption and 15th in the world.

Though stopping short of a full endorsement of Bitcoin the country's new president has made some friendly overtures, calling it "the return of money to its original creator, the private sector." Milei has also called central banking "a scam."

According to Bitso, the exchange has over 8 million users across Latin America.

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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