Argentinians rushed to raise the price of the popular local fiat-denominated stablecoin tether (USDT) over the weekend following news that the country’s Economy Minister had resigned.
According to data from CriptoYa, a data provider that tracks cryptocurrency prices from Latin American exchanges and peer-to-peer markets, the price of USDT in the Argentine peso (ARS) rose this weekend from around 250 ARS. /USDT on Saturday up between ARS 270 and ARS 280 on Monday.
Price data is taken from several peer-to-peer marketplaces where USDT is traded against Argentina’s fiat currency.
USDT price in ARS on various peer-to-peer markets:
Notably, the price increase occurred while the regular foreign exchange (forex) market was closed at the end of the week. As of Monday at 11:00 UTC, the official USD/ARS exchange rate stands at $125.45 per ARS, much lower than the exchange rate USDT is currently trading.
The official exchange rate between the US dollar and the Argentine peso is managed by Argentina’s central bank through daily controlled devaluation.
The country, which has been plagued by high inflation and currency devaluation for decades, has returned to focus this year as inflation has exceeded 50% annually.
Argentina is known to have one of the highest crypto adoption rates globally, with blockchain intelligence firm Chainalysis last year ranking the country as the 10th highest adoption country.
According to a Bloomberg report from Saturday, the move in the local currency USDT price could indicate unease among traders about the government’s ability to tackle inflation and other economic issues. .
Prices spiked after Economy Minister Martin Guzman resigned, the biggest departure from President Alberto Fernandez’s government to date. The Bloomberg report says the departure also comes amid reports of infighting within the governing coalition.