Pro-Bitcoin outsider candidate Javier Milei will be the next President of Argentina following his victory in a second-round runoff election on Sunday.
Per Bloomberg data, Milei won 56% of the votes to 44% for rival Sergio Massa, who serves as economy minister in the country’s incumbent Peronist coalition government; Massa conceded with 99% of the ballots counted.
Heralding the “rebuilding of Argentina,” Milei vowed that “there’s no room for gradual measures,” preparing to tackle the challenges of a spiralling rate of inflation and a rapid decline in the value of the country’s currency, the peso. Milei’s platform includes shock therapy measures such as “eliminating the central bank,” slashing public spending by 15% and abandoning the peso in favor of the U.S. dollar.
Following the election, Milei will take office on December 10.
Milei and Bitcoin
Known for his hardline libertarian views and luxuriant coiffure, the 53-year-old Milei first found fame as an economic pundit before his election to congress in 2021 for his Libertad Avanza (Freedom Advances) party.
During the Presidential election campaign, the self-described anarcho-capitalist took to waving a chainsaw at rallies to illustrate his commitment to cutting state spending. Among the policies he’s put forward are a free market for the sale of firearms and human organs, and the repeal of the country’s 2020 legalization of abortion.
Milei is a keen advocate of Bitcoin, describing the cryptocurrency as “the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.” A staunch opponent of central banks, he has described Argentina’s central bank as “one of the greatest swindles in our country’s history,” arguing that it cheats the populace through “inflationary tax.” Bitcoin, he claimed, is the “natural reaction against the central bank scammers.
Although Milei has come out in support of Bitcoin, it doesn’t figure in his policy proposals. Unlike El Salvador, which has adopted the cryptocurrency as legal tender, Milei has focused his attention on the dollarization of Argentina’s economy by 2025, in a bid to halt the “cancer of inflation.”
Edited by Stacy Elliott.