Argentina is in a tight squeeze. The Central Bank of the Argentine Republic is reportedly restricting individual purchases of Bitcoin following the recent limits imposed on the amount of US dollars people can purchase. The move is designed to stop excessive outflows of the nation’s declining foreign exchange reserves.
According to Reuters, the outflow of foreign currency increased significantly after Argentine president Mauricio Macri was removed from office on October 30.
US dollar purchases are limited to $200 per month through local bank accounts and only $100 a month in cash until the end of this year. The new limit is considerably less than the previous $10,000-per-month cap that was set in early September of 2019.
Restrictions on the movement of money have been ramping up since Argentina elected a new government on Sunday, igniting a sell-off of the Argentine peso, bonds and equities, and putting pressure on the value of the country’s national currency.
While incumbent Mauricio Macri’s government introduced capital controls in order to stabilize the country’s markets, including restrictions on US dollar purchases, Argentina’s foreign reserves have dropped by more than $20 billion.
New York-based anti-money laundering specialist and advisor to Metal Pay and Bitwage, Juan Llanos, notes via Twitter that Argentina’s Bitcoin exchanges are not advertising their services due to fears that the nation’s government might also introduce stricter regulations on their operations.
“Oh, oh. It’s moving faster than I expected: Argentina’s Central Bank just restricted payments with locally issued credit, debit and prepaid cards for all transactions involving, among others, the purchase of [Bitcoin and other] crypto assets. What’s next?”
As reported by Cointelegraph Brazil, the Argentine central bank states that,