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ECONOMY | 02-07-2022 22:59

Argentines seek hedging in crypto after economy minister resigns

Moves on crypto markets could indicate unease over the growing rift within the ruling coalition and concern over the government’s ability to tackle rising inflation and other economic challenges.   

The cost of buying Tether’s stablecoin USDT with Argentine pesos surged Saturday after Economy Minister Martín Guzmán resigned. 

The resignation marked the biggest departure of President Alberto Fernández’s government after infighting escalated within the ruling coalition. No replacement was immediately named.  

The price of USDT measured in Argentine pesos jumped on major exchanges soon after the minister announced his resignation on Twitter, according to the CryptoYa website, which reports minute-by-minute prices. The coin fetched 257 Argentine pesos on the Binance exchange, up 6.6 percent. On the Lemon Cash exchange, prices jumped 11 percent to 279 pesos. 

Crypto is the only market trading in Argentina on Saturday. While volumes are small, the moves could indicate unease, at least among some traders, over the growing rift within the ruling coalition and concern over the government’s ability to tackle rising inflation and other economic challenges.   

Argentina is one of the nine countries with the highest adoption of cryptocurrencies, according to Chainalysis, a site specialising in crypto and blockchain. In a country with recurring currency crises and inflation running around 60 percent annually, two-thirds of Argentines who invest in crypto say they do so to protect their savings, according to a study by Buenos Aires-based Wunderman Thompson.

by Ignacio Olivera Doll, Bloomberg

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