Bitcoin could be making some serious inroads in Argentina if local enthusiasm is to be considered. The rather conspicuously tight-knit cryptocurrency community celebrated Bitcoin Day in Bueno Aires on April 10, 2018. The conference, held last week in the neighborhood of Almagro, was attended by around 500 people. The large attendance at the event is just one indicator that the cryptocurrency community is thriving in Argentina.
The main aim of having such a session was to spread more awareness and information regarding the cryptocurrency ecosystem. The conference addressed everything from recent developments in the cryptocurrency industry to in-depth technical detail and knowledge about the working of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for digital currency enthusiasts.
Interestingly, Argentina has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption in South America, all while other nations continue to be hesitant to adopt or even embrace them. Adriel Araujo, one of the event organizers, described Argentina’s role as a leader in the Latin American cryptocurrency ecosystem and said, “Buenos Aires is one of the top capital cities where most blockchain-based projects are developed.”
Argentina’s central bank Banco Central de la Republica Argentina (BCRA) also previously stated that it is supportive of innovations in cryptocurrencies and is open to the idea of accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Eventually, it said, a committee will be set up to draft a pro-cryptocurrency charter. The central bank has, so far at least, adopted a hands-off approach and avoided intervention in the cryptocurrency industry, presumably to not stifle innovation in the space.
Locals in Argentina are not worried about the recent fluctuations in the price of bitcoin. They also believe that cryptocurrencies are the currency of the future and will eliminate geographical boundaries of countries. It is clear that bitcoin’s 60 percent loss in valuation has failed to shake public belief in cryptocurrencies, indicating that they have been holding the investment with a long-term strategy in mind.
Blockchain startup executives were also present at the conference, including Guillermo Torrealba, CEO of Buda, the Chilean cryptocurrency services firm, as well as Gonzalo Blousson and Carlos Maslaton, head of treasury at Xapo.
Speaking at the event about Venezuela’s petroleum-based cryptocurrency, Carlos Maslaton said:
“No currency of these characteristics can be issued by a government. Precisely the idea of cryptocurrencies is that if they are not to be issued by a government (or) In the hands of Maduro and the criminals who run Venezuela.”
Mike Barrow also came onto the stage to present his blockchain based project, Mike Tango Barrow. With it, his company, Costaflores Winehouse, also announced its pivot into the digital currency market. The tokens offered with every wine bottle will eventually be tradable in the open market and accepted as a payment method by the wine producer in 2021 after aging for three years. The project aims to fix the pricing issues that currently plagues wine producers globally, especially as one wine bottle could be sold for as little as few dollars to well over thousands of dollars. Barrow believes that “this will promote transparency.”
While Argentina is gaining ground in the cryptocurrency market, Chile took extreme steps to discourage use and investments in them by closing all accounts of digital currency-related companies.