Sergio Massa’s stance on central bank digital currencies appears to be in complete opposition to Javier Milei, a pro-Bitcoin candidate who wants to abolish Argentina’s central bank.
Argentine presidential candidate Sergio Massa has pledged to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) if elected to “solve” Argentina’s long-lasting inflation crisis.
“I am clear that inflation is a huge problem in Argentina,” the country’s second-leading candidate said in an Oct. 2 presidential debate before outlining how he plans to solve the country’s devastating inflation:
“We are going to launch the digital currency in Argentina. […] We are going to do it globally for all of Argentina accompanied by a laundering law that allows those who have money abroad to bring it and use it freely without new taxes in parallel.”
Massa, who currently serves as the Minister of Economy, shut down the idea that Argentina should move to the United States dollar:
“Dollarization is what generates the temptation of the dollar. Be patriots [and] defend our currency, do not promote the use of it [the U.S. dollar],” he said.
Argentina’s general election will take place on Oct. 22.
Data from American think tank AS/COA suggests that Massa will likely receive the most support in the Buenos Aires province — home to 16.6 million of the country’s 46 million residents — while Milei has majority backing in the more rural parts of the country.
Milei has previously signaled wanting to adopt the United States dollar as Argentina’s currency. As an economist and libertarian, Milei has long been a skeptic of central banking. Part of his campaign promise is to abolish Argentina’s central bank.
Milei previously referred to Bitcoin as a reaction against “central bank scammers” and said that the Argentine peso allows politicians to scam Argentines with inflation.
Argentina’s third-leading presidential candidate, Patricia Bullrich, would reportedly pursue a currency regime where the Argentine peso and U.S. dollar co-exist as legal tender if she wins the election.
The Argentine peso has fallen over 99% against the U.S. dollar since December 2003.
Most data suggests Argentina’s inflation is the third highest globally, only trailing Venezuela and Lebanon.