Bitcoin (BTC) represents the return of money to the private sector, and is a “natural reaction” to the “central bank scam”, Argentina presidential candidate Javier Gerardo Milei has said, signalling support for the top cryptocurrency.
“The first thing we have to understand is that the central bank is a scam,” stated Milei, in response to a question on whether Bitcoin could work as a monetary alternative.
“It is a mechanism by which politicians cheat […] the good people with the inflationary tax.”
Who is Javier Gerardo Milei, the Bitcoin lover?
He was speaking in a recent TV interview. Milei is an Argentine businessman and economist currently serving as a federal deputy of Buenos Aires. The 52-year old far-right politician is running as a candidate for a coalition party in the Argentine presidential election slated for October.
Milei pledged not to vote for any tax raises or new taxes if elected as president. The popular TV and radio personality is a supporter of Austrian economics and considers himself to be a “short-term minarchist”, although “philosophically an anarcho-capitalist.”
In his campaigns, Milei has denounced the “political caste,” which he claimed to be made up of “useless, parasitic politicians who have never worked.” His ideological views are thought of as a mixture of conservative and libertarian. Most Bitcoiners hold liberal views.
Bitcoin returns money to private sector
in the interview, Milei explained that “Bitcoin is representing the return of money to the original creator: the private sector. Money is a private invention…[that is] to be used to solve problems.”
— Michael Saylor⚡️ (@saylor) January 6, 2023
He went on to discuss the history of money and how governments had since 1445 “appropriated the exclusivity to issue money” with disastrous results.
According to the economist, legal tender, or government-issued money, is a major problem because it “allows politicians to scam you with the inflationary tax.” For this reason, he said, governments will not give up legal tender.
Milei contrasts the governmental chokehold on money with Bitcoin, which has a maximum supply of 21 million coins.
“Bitcoin has an algorithm that one day it will reach a certain amount and then there is no more. And it can compete with other currencies. In fact, it competes with Ethereum and others. The good point is that its the return of private money,” he said, adding:
“Bitcoin is the natural reaction to the central bank scammers and to make money private again. And the flip side is that the thieving politicians are not going to allow you to go against the legal tender. That’s why, as I suggest, you can propose to close the central bank.”
Stepping into Bukele’s shoes
Javier Gerardo Milei could be looking to follow in the footsteps of Nayib Bukele, president of El Salvador. The Bitcoin maverick president took perhaps one of the bravest decisions in modern economics: adopting the divisive crypto asset as legal tender.
Although the decision has been interpreted as progressive in the cryptocurrency world, the merits are yet to reflect on the country`s balance sheet. Bukele wanted to build Bitcoin City, a tax-free haven running entirely on Bitcoin.
Both the new city and his regular BTC purchases were a statement of intent. The idea still exists, though very little has happened in the city’s construction. A planned $1 billion Bitcoin bond to finance energy and mining infrastructure has stalled.
The bond, also aimed at buying even more Bitcoin, was announced in November 2021 and initially scheduled for March 2022.
According to Nayib Tracker, a website that tracks the president’s Bitcoin buys, El Salvador is 60% down on its Bitcoin bet. Since Sept. 2021, when Bukele started his Bitcoin purchases, the country has acquired 2,486 BTC, at an average price of $43,812.
That’s a total of $108.9 million, but the portfolio is currently worth just $43.15 million. The purchases have not yet justified the decision by Nayib Bukele to go against warnings by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).