Argentina elects Bitcoin-friendly Milei as president

20 Nov 2023

Bitcoin-friendly Javier Milei won Argentina’s presidential run-off election on Sunday, defeating opponent Sergio Massa.

With close to 99% of votes counted, Milei won more than 55% of the votes, giving him a lead of almost 3 million votes, according to Bloomberg data.

Argentina’s minister of economy, Sergio Massa, called Milei to congratulate him on the win after 90% of the votes had been counted, ahead of the first official announcement of the results.

Milei is set to take office on 10th December.

The inflation crisis in Argentina has been an ongoing issue, with the Peso registering almost a 140% rise in annual inflation over the past year.

Milei has long criticised Argentina’s central bank, referring to it as a scam and a “mechanism by which politicians cheat the good people with inflationary tax. 

He referred to the world’s largest cryptocurrency as a move towards “the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.”

That said, he hasn’t indicated an intention to make Bitcoin legal tender in Argentina, Cointelegraph reports.

Last month, Sergio Massa promised to introduce a central bank digital currency (CBDC), should he be elected, to “solve” the long-running inflation crisis in Argentina.

Massa won the first round of the country’s presidential election in October, yet it wasn’t sufficient to win the presidency outright, leading to the final run-off vote.

Beforehand, Milei won Argentina’s primary election in August. His win on Sunday signals a radical political shift for Argentina, which has dealt with economic mismanagement for years. Milei has gained a following of avid supporters among youth and libertarians for his unconventional views, Yahoo Finance reports.

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