JAN3 CEO Samson Mow argues that Argentina should offer Bitcoin bonds and transition to using Bitcoin as a legal currency.
Mow suggested that Argentine Bitcoin bonds could raise capital for another income-generating activity whose proceeds can be used to pay bond coupons and buy more Bitcoin.
Bitcoin bonds in Argentina?
Mow also believes that Bitcoin could be phased in as a national currency to replace the peso. The peso is undergoing rapid devaluation due to a tangled web of policies that have failed to stabilize its value. He advises transitioning from pesos to dollars and then from dollars to Bitcoin.
He also believes that, like El Salvador, Argentines can mine Bitcoin using relatively cheap natural gas and energy from untapped hydroelectric sources.
“Since Argentina has abundant energy, it could simply mine Bitcoin. That is, buy Bitcoin with electricity,” Mow suggested.
Mow has thus far not engaged with Argentine leaders on the possibility of bitcoin bonds in the country but has played a vital role in developing the Salvadoran Bitcoin bond issuance.
El Salvador mines Bitcoin using geothermal energy generated through volcanic activity from the Conchagua volcano in the Gulf of Fonseca.
The Salvadoran program rollout took a step in the right direction yesterday after a presidential spokesperson published a presidential bill submitted to lawmakers that seek to create a legal framework for the bonds.
Since adopting Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021, El Salvador’s president Nayib Bukele has faced backlash from the International Monetary Fund and ratings agency Moody’s, which said that the country’s Bitcoin trades raised its risk profile. The country has also faced technical issues with its Chivo wallet.
However, despite hiccups, Bitcoin payments have gained popularity, being accepted at hotels, restaurants, pool halls, and even street vendors. A smaller vendor can hold Bitcoin, while bigger businesses use it as a marketing strategy.
Argentines, on the other hand, have traditionally looked to the U.S. dollar as a safe haven long-term asset. But that strategy was thwarted by the government. They limit the dollar purchases to $200 and charge hefty taxes on dollar-denominated transactions.
Despite its volatility, Argentines now prefer Bitcoin over the peso and the dollar. According to an Aug. 2022 piece by the New York Times, about one-third of Argentines traded cryptocurrencies at least once a month. They find it easier to cope with Bitcoin’s short-term volatility than with the national currency’s devaluation.
BTC isn’t the issue, say Bitcoin faithful
The recent collapse of crypto exchange FTX and the criminal accusations piling up against its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, has drawn attention to whether cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a problem or whether the collapse is simply an issue of irresponsible business practices.
Bitcoin maximalists like MicroStrategy executive chairman Michael Saylor were quick to distance Bitcoin from the FTX situation, arguing that unlike most cryptocurrencies on exchanges, Bitcoin is a commodity rather than a security. Furthermore, Saylor argues that it does not need an issuer. It also does it need to be held by anyone other than the owner.
In a CNBC interview on Nov. 17, 2022, Strike CEO Jack Mallers said that the FTX saga was “nothing other than absolutely disgusting and malicious crime,” and that it was an inflection point where people are beginning to realize “that there’s Bitcoin and there’s everything else.”
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