Famed venture capitalist and bitcoin investor Tim Draper recently met with Argentina’s president, Mauricio Marci, and chief of staff, Marcos Pena. Mr. Draper reportedly advised president Macri to invest in bitcoin.
Mr. Draper Met With President Macri and Marcos Pena at a Forum in Puerto Madero Organized the Country’s Ministry of Production
Reports state that Mr. Draper wore a tie donned with the bitcoin logo throughout his Argentinian trip. Mr. Draper described bitcoin as “a social transformation” and “a new form of global currency” to local media. Although Mr. Draper conceded that “there is still a long way to go” regarding cryptocurrencies, he stated that bitcoin “is already a valuable part of society,” adding that “If the local currency implodes, as it once did here, whoever has bitcoins will be fine.”
Local media has stated that during a private meeting with Marcos Pena, Mr. Draper advised that distributed ledger technology (DLT) can be used as means to “end bureaucracy,” describing such as having the potential to give Argentina a competitive edge “at a time when all governments are competing with each other.” Mr. Draper used the “agri-food sector” as an example, stating that the application of “new technologies” including “bitcoin [and] blockchain] could render Argentina “a world leader” in the industry.
Bitcoin Continues to Grow in Argentina
Tim Draper’s presence in the cryptocurrency sphere has recently been bolstered by the validation of his earlier predictions that bitcoin’s price would enter the five-digit threshold. In September 2014, Mr. Draper had told Fox Business that bitcoin would reach $10,000 USD within three years – to which he received considerable skepticism due to bitcoin then being valued at less than $500 USD. In July 2014, it was revealed that Tim Draper was the winner of The United States Marshals Service’s auction of the nearly 30,000 bitcoins that had been seized on the now-defunct anonymous free market Silk Road.
Since it’s inception, bitcoin has enjoyed relative popularity in Argentina – owing largely the challenges brought by the high rate of inflation on the national currency that has plagued the country for many years, with the annual inflation rate exceeding 40% last year. This week has seen Argentinian Localbitcoins trading volume set a new record, breaking the preceding high by over 40%.
The Argentine government appears not to be concerned by bitcoin, with reports indicating that the vice president of the central bank of Argentina, Lucas Llach, stated that the central bank is “not afraid of bitcoin and like[s] some of its uses” in August. In late October, it was revealed that Argentina’s government is using bitcoin-based decentralized application Opentimestamps to record the publication times of daily official bulletins. Last month, it was also announced that Argentina’s largest futures market, Rofex, is exploring introducing cryptocurrency trading products.