Argentine users will now be able to trade NFTs, access a self-custody wallet, and use the OKX exchange for trading activities.
South American countries such as Brazil and Argentina have opened their doors to cryptocurrencies and view them as a way to combat their failing currencies. OKX has previously expanded its services to Brazil.
We're thrilled to announce the official launch of our exchange and Web3 Wallet in Argentina!
— OKX (@okx) February 7, 2024
OKX president Hong Fang said the exchange’s expansion to Argentina was in response to the growth of digital assets in the country. Fang stated that “the promise of crypto and blockchain is expanding across Latin America, and Argentina represents a crucial launchpad for our regional growth strategy.”
Furthermore, Argentina has spurred its citizens to adopt cryptocurrencies as an alternative means. The nation’s government launched the “Bases for the Reconstruction of the Argentine Economy” legislation in December 2023. This policy allows Argentine citizens to settle their contracts within the nation using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Despite the go-ahead on Bitcoin, most Argentines seem to prefer stablecoins. Some claim that Bitcoin’s volatility endangers their finances. Recent reports claim that Argentines are relying on underground markets known as “crypto caves” to buy US-dollar pegged stablecoins. This is part of their attempt to get around stringent currency regulations and inflation.
I lived in Argentina from 14’-17’ where I had to go to a ‘cave’ each month to illegally sell my pesos to buy USD, just so I could guarantee a flight home each year. Anyone who doesn’t understand why crypto/defi is revolutionary is living under a rock. #bitcoin #ElSalvador pic.twitter.com/IxwjS8Tv5G
— Rich Kane (@richkane_) June 9, 2021
These crypto caves are discreet peer-to-peer exchanges that run covertly. Guillermo Escudero, the strategic alliances manager at CryptoMarket, said in an interview, “It (crypto caves) is not a normal commercial place with public attention. They are hidden places where one goes with prior confirmation to meet and can change their local fiat money against cryptocurrencies, mostly USDT.”
Here in Argentina usually the preferred method of payment is USDT over Tron (if someone sends it), mainly because of lower tx costs. https://t.co/dnSxB2fBJ0
— BowTiedMara (@BowTiedMara) July 15, 2023
In addition, Escudero claimed that by using crypto caves, residents can secure a superior rate to the official exchange rate. Most Argentines believe saving USDT helps them save more over time.
Furthermore, Escudero noted that officials have probed and even invaded a few crypto caves. However, these crypto caves remain popular amongst the locals as they are one of the few locations where they can exchange their pesos.