Argentina has elected Bitcoin enthusiast Javier Milei as its president.
The shock win for the 53-year-old libertarian could pave the way for the South American leader to make Bitcoin legal tender.
It is understood that cryptocurrency is high on the agenda of economic ‘revolutions’ for the self-proclaimed ‘anarcho-capitalist’ who is desperate to jumpstart the beleaguered economy of a nation crippled by triple-digit inflation, recession and poverty.
Official figures from the election put Milei with 56% of the votes – largely from the younger voters – against 44% for Peronist Economy Minister Sergio Massa whose campaign was, arguably, scuppered by what has been one of Argentina’s most crippling economic episodes in two decades.
“Obviously the results are not what we expected. I have contacted Javier Milei to congratulate him,” Massa conceded.
“From tomorrow the responsibility of providing certainty belongs to Milei.”
Milei has vowed to bring what he calls ‘economic shock therapy’. The volatile politician has already declared he vows to shut down the central bank, ditch the peso, slash spending, and steer Buenos Aires towards decentralised finance through cryptocurrency.
Many critics have already stated they don’t believe Milei can help Argentina’s financial woes. The country has a staggering $44 billion debt program with the International Monetary Fund and 150%inflation.
However, Meleil has many fans – particularly among the young voters who see him as someone who ‘gets’ crypto.
“He’s a voice for a generation – a generation that wants to see our Argentina break free from the shackles of a burned economy and bring back something that can deliver hope,” 23-yer-old student Nadin Flores told City AM.
“With a traditional fiat model, it could take decades – even centuries – to recover the damage that previous governments have inflicted on our nation.
“But, finally, we have a president who might just accelerate all of this and turn our world around for the better.”