Argentinian presidential candidate Sergio Massa has made a bold promise to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in an effort to combat the country’s long-lasting inflation crisis. Massa, who is currently serving as the Minister of Economy, outlined his plan during an October 2 presidential debate.
In his statement, Massa acknowledged that inflation is a significant problem in Argentina and emphasized the need for a solution. He proposed launching a digital currency for the entire country, accompanied by a laundering law that would allow individuals with money abroad to bring it back to Argentina and use it freely without additional taxes. Massa firmly rejected the idea of dollarization, urging citizens to defend the national currency instead.
The general election in Argentina is set to take place on October 22. According to two out of three major voting polls, Massa is slightly trailing Javier Milei, a pro-Bitcoin and anti-central bank candidate who won Argentina’s primary election in August. Data from American think tank AS/COA indicates that Massa is likely to receive the most support in the Buenos Aires province, home to a significant portion of the country’s population, while Milei has majority backing in rural areas.
Milei, an economist and libertarian, has been a long-time critic of central banking and has previously expressed his desire to adopt the U.S. dollar as Argentina’s currency. As part of his campaign promise, Milei aims to abolish Argentina’s central bank. He has labeled Bitcoin as a reaction against “central bank scammers,” highlighting how the Argentine peso allows politicians to manipulate the economy through inflation.
Meanwhile, Patricia Bullrich, Argentina’s third-leading presidential candidate, has reportedly proposed a currency regime in which the Argentine peso and U.S. dollar coexist as legal tender if she wins the election. This approach aims to provide stability to the country’s monetary system.
The Argentine peso has experienced significant depreciation against the U.S. dollar, falling over 99% since December 2023. The country’s inflation rate is consistently ranked among the highest worldwide, trailing only Venezuela and Lebanon.
Massa’s proposal to launch a CBDC reflects the growing interest in digital currencies as a potential solution to economic challenges. However, the success of such a venture would depend on various factors, including technological infrastructure, regulatory framework, and public acceptance. As the election draws near, Argentinians will closely follow the candidates’ economic strategies, particularly in relation to inflation and the future of their national currency.