Argentina Leads Latin America in Stablecoin Purchases Amid Economic Crisis

Argentina, a country grappling with a severe economic crisis and a plunging peso, has emerged as the leader in stablecoin purchases and holdings in Latin America over the past six months, according to a report by Mexican-founded crypto exchange Bitso. The nation recently elected self-described “anarcho-capitalist” Javier Milei as president.

Bitso’s report reveals that 60% of Argentine crypto purchases on the exchange were for dollar-based stablecoins USDT and USDC, while only 13% were for bitcoin. In comparison, stablecoin purchases in Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico ranged between 31% and 40% of total crypto buys.

Bitso attributes the high demand for stablecoins in Argentina to the current political and economic context, which has prompted individuals to seek alternatives to combat inflation and devaluation. The country has long suffered from economic troubles, with an annual inflation rate that soared to 211.4% in 2023.

A Chainalysis report from the same year found that Argentina ranked second in Latin America for crypto adoption and 15th globally. Despite not fully endorsing Bitcoin, the country’s new president has made some favorable remarks, referring to it as “the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.” Milei has also criticized central banking, calling it “a scam.”

Bitso, which boasts over 8 million users across Latin America, has become a prominent platform for crypto trading in the region. The exchange’s findings highlight the growing interest in stablecoins as a means of preserving wealth in countries facing economic instability.

As Argentina continues to grapple with its economic crisis, the adoption of stablecoins may provide individuals with a more stable and reliable store of value. With the largest purchases and holdings of stablecoins in Latin America, Argentina is positioning itself as a key player in the crypto market, showcasing the potential for digital currencies to address economic challenges in the region.