July 21, 2024
Milei's Bitcoin-driven bid for Argentine presidency
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Pro-Bitcoin Candidate Javier Milei to Face Off Against Sergio Massa in Argentine Runoff Election

Pro-Bitcoin presidential candidate Javier Milei’s bid for victory in the initial round of the Argentine presidential election has ended without success, setting the stage for a runoff against economy minister Sergio Massa on November 19. On October 23, according to election results reported by Bloomberg, Massa was leading with more than 36% support, while Milei lagged behind with just over 30% of the vote, with 90% of the votes counted.

To secure the presidency outright, the presidential hopefuls needed 45% of the votes, or 40%, with a lead of 10 percentage points. The outcome was somewhat surprising, considering that Milei initially emerged as the presidential frontrunner by winning the most votes in the country’s primary presidential election in August, garnering around 30% of the vote.

Milei, who identifies as an anarcho-capitalist, has been advocating for a reduction in the size of the government and the abolition of Argentina’s central bank, which he claims is a scam. He has also proposed replacing the Argentine peso with the United States dollar, following the example of Bitcoin-friendly El Salvador. Milei’s coalition, ‘Liberty Advances’ (La Libertad Avanza), has been described as ranging from libertarian to far-right populist.

Additionally, Milei has referred to Bitcoin as a response to ‘central bank scammers’ and alleged that fiat currency enables politicians to exploit Argentines through inflation. In contrast, Massa has committed to launching a central bank digital currency (CBDC) if elected to address Argentina’s persistent inflation crisis, and he has rejected the idea of adopting the U.S. dollar.

This election takes place as 40% of Argentines are grappling with poverty and the nation is burdened by a mounting debt crisis, with annual inflation nearing 140%. The Argentines will cast their votes once more on November 19, with the candidate who garners the most votes set to assume the presidency for a four-year term.

Image by freepik

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