According to a new analysis, cryptocurrency has exploded in border markets like Argentina, where an unstable financial system and strong government involvement in the country's economy have pushed an increasing number of Argentines toward the decentralized cryptocurrency.
The Argentine peso, the country's national currency, is already extremely volatile and subject to a slew of financial controls, which make buying and investing with the currency increasingly difficult for everyday citizens. In this uncertainty, cryptocurrency has benefited a stratospheric boon. According to Chainalysis, Argentines will raise $1.86 billion in cryptocurrency in 2021.
"You need tools for freedom when you have restrictions," Jeronimo Ferrer, a crypto enthusiast in Argentina, said.
Argentina's financial system was in terrible straits in the 1990s, with citizens discovering their lifelong savings completely frozen. Today, the situation is still sluggish, with Argentines of all income levels facing restrictions on transactions in foreign currencies.
"This is our money, and it's the only one that politicians can't do," Ferrer tells the BBC.
Many Argentines are seeing Bitcoin as a way to help them cope with rising inflation. In one city in Patagonia, inflation rates are rising, putting an end to the fact that the depreciating peso continues to pinch most of them.
Argentina's cryptocurrency adoption has been uneven, just as elsewhere. "Today, it's not a technology that everyone can access," said Lucia Lizardo, a blockchain consultant. The vast majority of cryptocurrency enthusiasts are young and young, with excellent benefits like a steady income and a technology background.
The central bank of Argentina has issued a warning to the public about a proliferation of cryptocurrency scams targeting users' wallets. However, this has not deterred most investors.
A surge of users has also been boosted by the fact that it's cheaper to mine Bitcoin in the United Kingdom due to reduced energy costs.
"I trust more mathematics and software than I trust politicians," Ferrer told the BBC. "I believe Bitcoin for Argentinians should be a no-brainer."