Bitcoin (BTC) continues to trade at a premium in Argentina after a sharp currency devaluation sent investors running for a safe haven.
Argentine peso plunges 30%
Data from local cryptocurrency exchange Buenbit put Bitcoin trading around $11,750 at press time Aug. 13, compared to around $11,330 on major global exchanges.
When a shock defeat of incumbent president Mauricio Macri in the primary elections sparked the rout in the Argentine peso (ARS) on Monday, the Bitcoin premium was higher, implied BTC/USD passing $12,300 on Buenbit.
In USD terms, the peso’s collapse was even more apparent, jumping from 45 pesos to a high of 59 pesos before settling at 53 pesos.
Argentina’s presidential front-runner Alberto Fernandez also criticized Macri for raising short-term debt to unsustainable levels, reports Bloomberg. Fernandez stated in an interview with a local TV channel in Buenos Aires on Monday:
“Nobody believes Macri can pay back the debt. Bond prices indicate investors see the country in default.”
However, Fernande added that he doesn’t want to default on the country’s debt.
Bitcoin thrives in economic, political turmoil, proponents say
As investors consider the fallout and potential exacerbation should October’s presidential elections yield repeat results, Bitcoin proponents are eyeing the cryptocurrency’s utility in what is becoming yet another market where its advantages are obvious.
As trade volumes on P2P exchange Localbitcoins showed signs of increasing, Morgan Creek Digital co-founder Anthony Pompliano suggested the peso could form the first in a chain of developing fiat currencies to disintegrate.
“Could this be the first of many to be exposed in a currency crisis?” he tweeted Monday.
As Cointelegraph reported, Latin America has become an unintended crucible for Bitcoin adoption, with Venezuela’s crisis leading the way.
Other economies have felt the knock-on effects, many seeing continued interest in Bitcoin as fiat weakness continues. Earlier this year, investor Tim Draper met with Argentine president, Mauricio Macri, to reportedly bet on the Bitcoin price over the coming years.