Libertarian Javier Milei was elected President of Argentina. Plan for Economic Shock Therapy; No Advocacy for Bitcoin as Legal Tender
Argentina elected right-wing libertarian Javier Milei as the new president on Sunday (the 19th), who is also a Bitcoin enthusiast. He has introduced an economic shock therapy. Can this therapy address the economy's triple-digit inflation, imminent recession, and worsening poverty?
The 53-year-old economist and former TV commentator, Milei, emerged victorious, breaking the dominance of the two main political forces.
Riding the wave of voter anger against the political establishment, Milei secured an unexpectedly strong win, garnering approximately 56% of the votes, while his opponent, Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa, only obtained 44% of the votes.
Shock Therapy Adoption
Argentina faces a dire situation of hyperinflation, with the 2023 inflation rate projected to reach 147%. The Argentine peso (ARS) has depreciated from 176 to 351 against the US dollar since the beginning of the year, nearly halving in value.
Milei faces an empty government and central bank treasury. He promises to implement economic shock therapy. Plans include shutting down the central bank, abandoning the peso, and cutting expenses.
These potentially painful reforms resonate with him, however, he gained support from enraged voters amidst the economic downturn.
Following Nayib Bukele, Another Bitcoin President?
Ark Invest pointed out in an August report that surging inflation in Argentina and support from presidential candidates are continuously driving Bitcoin adoption in the country. The relationship between Argentina and Bitcoin is rapidly evolving.
But Milei previously stated that,
"Despite being positive about cryptocurrency, Milei does not advocate for using Bitcoin as the legal tender in Argentina. Instead, he advocates for economic 'dollarization,' which involves abolishing the peso and directly using the US dollar. This differs from El Salvador, which actively considers Bitcoin as legal tender."
Milei was Involved in a Crypto Scam
Milei was involved in a crypto scam last year. Reports indicated that in December 2021, Milei endorsed CoinX on his IG platform, suggesting it as a means to profit from investments using pesos, dollars, or cryptocurrencies, aiding Argentinians in overcoming inflation. However, CoinX ceased payments to investors, confirming it as a Ponzi scheme.
Blessings from Non-Mainstream Political Figures
Former U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Milei, and wrote on his Truth Social platform,
"The whole world was watching! I am very proud of you. You will turn your Country around and truly Make Argentina Great Again!"
From the former US president’s Trump, the president of Ukraine’s Zelensky, to Argentina's Javier Milei, presidents from non-traditional political backgrounds seem to be gaining more attention from voters.