Despite being one of the most powerful nations in Latin America, Argentina is currently mired in an economic crisis that has deeply affected its national currency, the peso, which has lost more than 50 percent of its value since April. Uncertainty over the future of the Argentinian peso has sparked interest among investors and consumers in Bitcoin, and central bank officials are paying close attention to this development.
Trends in Digital Currency
The ongoing trend of Bitcoin adoption in Argentina shows that people in that South American nation are not taking any chances with regard to the future of the national economy; they are taking advantage of the existing technology infrastructure and setting up digital wallets as well as retail point-of-sale locations. In the hardest-hit agricultural regions, residents prefer to receive remittances from Buenos Aires in Bitcoin instead of pesos, and even neighborhood butcher shops are now accepting the digital currency as a form of payment.
The Future of the Cryptocurrency Market
As the final week of September beckons, Bitcoin traders will likely see market gains boosted by the situation in Argentina, where the rate of inflation has reached nearly 35 percent on a year-to-year basis. As of today, there are more than 8,000 POS terminals at various retail stores across the country, most of them concentrated in the bustling capital city of Buenos Aires. In many cases, the POS terminal is simply a mobile Bitcoin wallet running on a smartphone; however, merchant processing firms are rushing to offer a more integrated payment solution.
The central bank has thus far been supportive of Bitcoin adoption in Argentina; some officials see it as a natural progression because people turned to the American dollar during previous periods of economic downturn in Argentina. Furthermore, the central bank has also authorized the implementation of Bitcoin ATMs; a financial technology firm is working on installing 12 machines in Buenos Aires, but the business goal is to develop a network of 4,000 ATM locations around the country using existing locations.