Argentines have turned to cryptocurrencies to meet their basic needs, fearing a repeat of previous economic crises. Three Argentine start-ups currently offer crypto-based transaction debit cards. One of these companies was founded in a Patagonian town where 40 percent of businesses accept Bitcoin. Other ways that the Argentine government’s involvement in the economy that encouraged Bitcoin adoption have also increased. For example, it is affordable to run an energy-intensive Bitcoin mining operation due to the low electricity cost. Likewise, some Argentines have begun to switch to “stablecoins,” which are linked to the US dollar, so they are less vulnerable to value changes.

With an annual rate of more than 50 percent, Argentina’s inflation has been an ongoing source of concern. The severe financial crisis in the country began at the end of the 1990s when bank accounts were frozen and people’s savings vanished suddenly. So far, the government has taken a laid-back approach toward the Bitcoin boom. But the Central Bank has issued warnings against crypto-based scams. Although cryptocurrency use is not yet widespread, it is rapidly growing, which is cause for concern.