Argentine presidential candidate Javier Milei is courting crypto supporters

The presidential election in Argentina is now underway, and the current second-place contender has attracted the attention of crypto fans.

Sergio Massa received 37% of the vote in Sunday’s general election, while Javier Milei received 30%; the two will now square battle in a runoff election on November 19.

Milei campaigned on a platform of fundamentally altering the state’s monetary and fiscal practices. He has proposed some quite extreme solutions, like the elimination of inflation and the Argentine central bank.

Milei’s pledges helped him win his party’s primary election in August, and his triumph was seen as an indication of discontent with the current Peronist administration in Argentina.

Milei is controversial because of his strong views on Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and even the Ponzi scheme. Late on Sunday night, with the current Peronist party’s finance minister Sergio Massa having secured 36.6% of the vote, Milei went to bed with a preliminary 29.9% of the vote. Massa’s advantage was lowered to 37% by the last 1% of votes that came in overnight.

A simple majority of votes is not required to elect a president in Argentina. Instead, a candidate needs 40% of the popular vote or more than 45% if they have a 10% advantage over their nearest opponent.

Massa only received 37% of the vote in October’s general election, with a narrow 7% margin over his nearest challenger. Since this vote was not conclusive, Massa and Milei will keep campaigning until the next vote on November 19.

Milei, who has never been one to show symptoms of doubt, showed little dejection throughout Sunday’s vote count. He congratulated his followers on what he called the “historic achievement” of his new party, La Libertad Avanza, for making it to the runoff. His party faces out against the Argentine government’s current rulers, who took power from Juan and Evita Perón in the 1970s.

In his occasional defense of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin, Milei has said that the cryptocurrency “represents the return of money to its original creator, the private sector.” But he’s shown more restraint than Nayib Bukele, the Bitcoin-obsessed leader of El Salvador. Milei does not aspire to do what Bukele did and make bitcoin a legitimate currency. Instead, he proposes switching to the US dollar, which would strengthen the Federal Reserve and the Bank for International Settlements at the expense of the Argentine Peso.

Milei has previously advocated for Ethereum and other dubious digital asset systems. As reported by Protos earlier, numerous Argentines who lost money in the CoinX pyramid scam sued its promoter, Milei. The Argentine government criticized CoinX for misleading investors.

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