Welcome to Latam Insights, a compendium of the most relevant crypto and economic development news from Latin America during the last week. In this issue, economist Steve Hanke calls to dollarize Argentina, Bitcoin City plans are still not formalized in El Salvador, and Venezuelan crypto watchdog Sunacrip is allegedly involved in mass layoffs.
Steve Hanke Proposes to Dollarize Argentina
Steve Hanke, economist and professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, has favored the proposal of dollarizing the Argentine economy in order to put order to the financial crisis of the country.
In a tweet issued on April 25, Hanke stated:
By my measure, the Argentinian peso has depreciated against the USD by 52% since Jan 1, 2022. Argentina must dump the peso and dollarize now.
Hanke’s proposal coincides with what Javier Milei, one of the strongest presidential candidates according to polls, is presenting in his campaign plans, considering ditching the Argentine peso and adopting the U.S. dollar as a solution to the inflation and devaluation escalade that the country is facing. Hanke also criticized the country’s debt with the International Money Fund (IMF).
Bitcoin City Plans Still Not Registered In El Salvador
Formal plans for Bitcoin City, the cryptocurrency-focused city that would be built in El Salvador in part with funds coming from the still unreleased “Volcano bonds,” have still not reached public institutions in El Salvador.
A document posted to social media on April 26 shows that the Public Works Ministry has no project with the Bitcoin City name, an initiative that was presented by Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele on November 2021.
However, the “Escape to El Salvador” team, an organization that promotes moving to the country, clarified that these plans were still not introduced to the Public Works Ministry, but that the project was still ongoing.
Venezuelan Cryptocurrency Watchdog Lays Off Hundreds of Workers
Sunacrip, the Venezuelan cryptocurrency watchdog, has fired more than 400 workers this week, according to local sources. The crypto superintendence had a payroll of 600 workers, that are being affected by the current cryptocurrency-related corruption probe. The former head of Sunacrip, Joselit Ramirez, is currently under arrest for his alleged involvement in the so-called PDVSA-crypto corruption scheme.
The institution was intervened by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on March 17, who named a commission to review the actions of the institution, but there have been no reports about if the organization will be terminated, or if it will continue with another organizational structure.