Bitcoin jumped nearly 3% after a pro-crypto candidate from the far right handily defeated Argentina’s current economic minister in the country’s presidential election.
Bitcoin broke through the $37,000 mark, and was still up 2% over the past 24 hours, after Javier Milei, a populist figure who labels himself an anarcho-capitalist and libertarian, was named the winner. Milei has found an audience in Argentina—and among the crypto faithful—in part for his radical economic proposals such as eliminating the country’s central bank.
Milei is friendly to cryptocurrencies, especially the most popular token, Bitcoin. In an interview with the Argentine newspaper Clarín he raged against central banks and politicians, adding that Bitcoin was the natural reaction against “the scam that is central banks.”
“What Bitcoin is representing is the return of money to its original creator, which is the private sector,” he said.
The 53-year-old economist may be friendly to Bitcoin but he doesn’t support making it legal tender as did El Salvador President Nayib Bukele in 2021. Milei has said he plans to dollarize Argentina’s economy in a bid to fight the more than 140% inflation that the South American country is facing.
Still, some notable crypto figures have congratulated the president-elect, including MicroStrategy founder Michael Saylor and Arthur Hayes, the cofounder of crypto exchange BitMEX.
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) November 20, 2023
While Milei’s libertarian views on the economy have proved popular among Argentinians, the politician’s radical stances on other issues have alienated others. Milei has actively opposed sex education and feminist causes, and he’s said that humans are not the cause of global climate change, contradicting a nearly unanimous scientific consensus.