The South American country’s citizens now have access to a cash balance that can be used to save or transfer money without permission.
Lightning payments platform Strike has made some of its services available to Argentinians on Tuesday in an effort to “give hope” to a population that suffers from hyperinflation, according to an announcement Twitter thread from its founder Jack Mallers.
“Today, we launch a superior financial experience to a country that faces hyperinflation, predatory payment networks, and unusable cross-border transfers,” Mallers tweeted on Tuesday. “Today, we use the world’s open monetary network, Bitcoin, to give hope to the people of Argentina.”
Mallers went on to explain that the country “is plagued with a history of economic turmoil and uncertainty,” something Bitcoin could help fix. The peer-to-peer monetary system with a limited and immutable supply of money enables Argentinians to hold sound money that gains in purchasing power both in relation to the peso and the U.S. dollar. A devaluing national currency impairs citizens’ ability to save while it quietly erodes their purchasing power through inflation. In the case of Argentina, annual inflation is currently already above 50% as the country struggles to emerge from a long-lasting recession.
“There is now unprecedented demand for an open monetary system that lives within a distributed network, has a known monetary policy, a fixed supply, and is resistant to censorship,” Mallers said, adding that “Argentina needs the best monetary asset and the best monetary network in human history: Bitcoin.”
“Strike’s official launch in Argentina further advances Strike’s mission of building a more connected financial world. Strike allows anyone in Argentina day one access to a wide range of use cases including instant and near-free remittance payments, accepting and sending bitcoin Tips on Twitter, and peer-to-peer transactions,” the company said in a statement sent to Bitcoin Magazine.
Despite U.S. customers being able to access the full range of services provided by Strike, including buying bitcoin and getting paid in bitcoin through automatic paycheck conversions, Argentinians are for now only able to hold a cash balance which they can use to save or transfer money instantly to anywhere in the world without fees.
“This is a superior financial experience that legacy financial institutions and governments have failed to deliver to the people of Argentina,” Mallers said.
UPDATE (Jan 11, 2:50 pm ET): Updated to reflect differences between U.S. and Argentinian customers’ access to Strike services.