Bitcoin demand in Argentina reaches highest point in nearly 2 years

Argentines’ efforts to preserve their savings amid the ongoing decline of their national currency, the Argentine peso, has resulted in the nation recently hitting its highest demand for Bitcoin (BTC) in 20 months, according to a recent report.

On March 20, Bloomberg reported data sourced from cryptocurrency exchange Lemon Cash revealing that nearly 35,000 customers in Argentina purchased Bitcoin in the week ending March 10, double the weekly average compared to 2023.

Bitcoin purchases in Argentina from January 2023 to March 2024. Source: Bloomberg

A major factor for the increase in demand is the ongoing decline of the nation’s currency.

Over the past twelve months, the peso’s value against the United States dollar has plummeted, dropping from $0.0049/peso in March 2023 to $0.0012/peso at the time of publication.

However, it was noted that Lemon wasn’t the only platform seeing a surge in demand. Other major exchanges in Argentina, such as Ripio and Belo, reported similar trends.

According to the CEO of the digital wallet Belo, Manuel Beaudroi, stablecoin purchases in Argentina declined from 70% to 60% as Bitcoin’s recent price surge attracted more interest.

“The user decides to buy Bitcoin when they see the news that the currency is going up, while stablecoin is more pragmatic and many times used for transactional purposes, as a vehicle to make payments abroad.”

He also claimed that Belo has seen volume in Bitcoin and Ether increase “tenfold so far in 2024 compared to the same period last year.”

However, a recent report suggests that interest in stablecoins might still exist, as Argentines may choose not to use the well-known exchanges within the country to purchase them.

On Feb. 12, Cointelegraph reported that Argentines are using black market exchanges, known locally as “crypto caves,” to buy U.S. dollar stablecoins in an effort to escape strict currency controls and the rising inflation of the peso.

Meanwhile, the use of digital currency for specific transactions is slowly gaining traction within the country.

In December 2023, Diana Mondino, the minister of foreign affairs, international trade and worship, claimed that a decree aimed at economic reform and deregulation would allow the use of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country under certain conditions.

Following the ruling, a local landlord and a tenant in Rosario, the third most populated city in Argentina, sealed a rental agreement where the latter would pay monthly rent in Bitcoin.

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