Jerónimo Ferrer, a 48-year-old resident of Buenos Aires, recently explained why crypto (especially Bitcoin) has become so popular in Argentina, which is the world’s largest Spanish-speaking nation by region.
Ferrer is a business development partner at Paxful, which is one of the leading peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin marketplaces. He is also the host of a popular Airbnb experience (in the Argentine capital) called “Our Crazy Local Economy & Bitcoin”.
Here is a brief description of his 2.5-hour tour, which costs around $28 to $35 per person:
“We will visit the Central Bank Museum where we will go through the history of money in general. Next, we will look at monetary issues particular to Argentina, such as monetary policy and their results in our country. Later we will walk through the financial district to finally sit down for a coffee (not included) where we can start learning more about bitcoin.
“Find out how to set up your wallet and how to protect your bitcoins in the most secure way. The next step will be to walk to Florida Street, surrounded by “arbolitos”, to find the Bitcoin ATM and learn how to buy and sell the currency. The place where you can have your first Satoshis!“
Yesterday, CoinDesk published a report by journalist Marina Lammertyn about Ferrer and his Bitcoin tour.
Here are some of the most interesting aspects of its history:
- He started the tours in February 2019 because he wanted to “spread bitcoin as a tool for freedom in a country that has no hard currency, with rampant inflation at an average rate of 70%.”
- Two major economic events in Argentina, namely (1) the collapse of the Argentine peso (ARS) in 2001 and the subsequent economic measures (“corralito”) taken by the government, such as the temporary freezing of bank accounts, to stop a banking panic; and (2) the government’s nationalization of about $30 billion in private pension funds in 2008 to “protect pensioners and workers” had a profound influence on his view of money and his approach to money. investment in a high inflation environment.
- Since being “a victim of both events”, he “started looking for other ways to save and found bitcoin when, during one of his previous jobs, an Italian customer asked him to pay in this cryptocurrency,” who he was when he “fell in love with it.”
- Ferrer says that since there is a limit ($200) on the amount of USD people can buy through banks, “illegal money changers” have sprung up everywhere, but the ARS-USD rate that they offer is not so good (up to 100% worse than the official rate).
On April 22, BBC News reported on the Argentinian crypto scene, and Ferrer was also mentioned in that report, where he is quoted as saying:
“When you have restrictions, you need tools for freedom.“
The BBC News report mentioned that “for some early adopters of cryptocurrency in Argentina, even a relatively young and unpredictable currency is preferable to the wildly fluctuating peso”, which is why Bitcoin continues to be very popular despite claims some critics that it’s too volatile, a claim that Gabor Gurbacs, who is the director of digital asset strategy at MVIS (a subsidiary of VanEck), recently scoffed at:
María Mercedes Etchegoyen, an Argentinian lawyer specializing in intellectual property law, told BBC News that “during the pandemic people noticed this situation, and to protect their money they chose to look for a limited asset” and that “In Argentina there was no specific regulation on cryptocurrency.
Featured image by “HalloweenHJB” via Pixabay.com