The Central Bank of Argentina (BCA) has prohibited citizens from using credit cards to buy Bitcoin (BTC) or any cryptocurrencies according to an Oct. 31 report by Cointelegraph.
The move by the banking authority comes as part of a measure designed to protect the nation’s foreign exchange reserves, which have understandably been strained by the high inflation rate that has hit Argentine fiat currency (Pesos).
Citing a publication which alerted members of the public to the ban on credit card Bitcoin purchases, the report read:
“Acquisition of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies: It is prohibited to purchase BTC with this payment method. The only remaining alternative for this investment is to do so with funds transferred from a bank account.”
At this point, it is still unclear whether the ban by the regulator applies to credit and prepared cards while the mention of bank transfers suggests the idea of peer-to-peer transactions in a way that no foreign currency enters the country.
The BCA hopes that by implementing the restrictions, it will have greater control over foreign exchange. Earlier this week, the central bank lowered the maximum dollar purchase limit for citizens to just $200, 98% down from the $10,000, that they only introduced at the start of October.
The Case for Bitcoin
Bitcoin, despite its inherent volatile nature, is up over 150% on the Year-to-date chart, meaning it perhaps represents an efficient store of value of Argentines who now live under an inflation-plagued regime.
Also, as we reported in a similar development in Turkey, the limits that Argentines now have to come under despite the funds being theirs is one that they can quickly subvert by making the switch to a widely accepted cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.