Crypto adoption in Argentina soars amid 276% inflation spike

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Cryptocurrency adoption in Argentina has been setting records in the Americas as the local inflation rate skyrockets.

Argentina has been leading the Western hemisphere in cryptocurrency adoption with a 276% annual inflation rate, according to analysts from the American business magazine Forbes.

Crypto adoption in Argentina is higher as a share of its global population than any other country in the Western hemisphere, Forbes analysts reported in an article on July 8. Out of  130 million visitors to 55 of the largest exchanges worldwide, 2.5 million came from Argentina, the report noted, citing website data from Similarweb.

Binance’s five top countries by visitors. Source: SimilarWeb

Argentina is also the top market on Binance, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, in terms of visitors. According to SimilarWeb, website traffic from Argentina accounts for 6.9% of Binance’s total visits.

Argentines buy spot USDT and “don’t do anything with it”

In contrast to the surging memecoin trend in the crypto industry, the crypto adoption in Argentina has not been driven by memecoins. The locals instead prefer holding stablecoins like Tether (USDT), the analysts claimed, citing remarks by Maximiliano Hin, Bitget’s head of Latin America.

“Argentina is an anomalous market where many people buy USDT and don’t leave room for much else,” Hinz said, adding:

“We don’t see this elsewhere. Argentines buy spot Tether and don’t do anything with it.”

Stablecoins like USDT are a type of cryptocurrency designed to maintain a stable value by being pegged to a reserve of U.S. dollars at a 1:1 ratio. With massive local inflation rates, holding money in USDT apparently makes a lot of sense for people in Argentina despite the country not having any significant measures to protect stablecoin investors.

Argentina’s national securities regulator has registered zero top exchanges so far

Despite Argentina’s friendly stance on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC), the country has apparently struggled to create a framework to regulate the industry.

In late 2023, after Argentina’s President Javier Milei took office, Argentina officially endorsed using Bitcoin in legally binding contracts.

Related: Canadian crypto adoption struggles as cash remains king

Since then, Argentina has been trying to regulate the local cryptocurrency market, passing registration requirements for crypto firms in April 2024.

Despite the government’s crypto regulation efforts, Argentina still struggles to provide regulated cryptocurrency services to its population, according to Forbes.

The report claimed that none of Argentina’s top crypto exchanges, including Binance, have registered with the national securities regulator, Comisión Nacional de Valores (CNV).

“To the best of my knowledge, there is no licensing requirement in the Latin American countries where Bitget operates,” Bitget’s Hin stated.

Cointelegraph approached CNV for a comment regarding local crypto regulations but did not receive a response at the time of publication.

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