Argentina’s 50% inflation has resulted in a surge in the use of cryptocurrency credit cards

  • Lemon Cash, a cryptocurrency exchange, will increase its issuance to 3 million units.
  • Holders of the cards receive 2% back in Bitcoin after making purchases.

With annual inflation in Argentina exceeding 50%, the cryptocurrency exchange Lemon Cash intends to issue 3 million Bitcoin rewards cards this year.

Lemon Cash first offered the Visa cards, which convert the required amount of cryptocurrency from the user’s account into pesos to make payments, in November. Initially, the company offered 100,000 cards. Holders of the cards receive 2% back in Bitcoin for each purchase.

While the cards have been viewed as a marketing tool in other countries, they are being used in South America to help mitigate the impact of rising prices.

Argentines fear and seek protection from an accelerating inflation rate that is already the fourth highest in the world, trailing only Venezuela, Lebanon, and Zimbabwe. According to government data released on Tuesday, inflation increased by 3.9 percent last month and by 50.7 percent on an annual basis. According to central bank economists polled, inflation will reach 55% this year.

“Latin America is a good place for these services,” Lemon Cash’s chief marketing officer, Franco Bianchi, said in an interview. Several of the countries have “unstable economies and devalued currencies, and people are looking for access to cryptocurrencies as a refuge.”

Lemon Cash also plans to launch the cards in Brazil in mid-March, according to Bianchi. The company is in talks with Brazilian regulators to obtain operating licenses, and it plans to launch its services in Peru and Chile in 2022.

Lemon Cash isn’t the only company in the region offering crypto cards; they’ll also be issued by Ripio, a digital wallet provider with over 3 million users, mostly in Argentina and Brazil. Universal Exchange, which recently launched in Argentina, intends to launch a similar service this year.

“We will bring a new way for you to use your tokens in everyday life and receive a variety of benefits at payment time,” said Walter Carcamo, CEO of Universal Exchange.

Lemon Cash, based in Buenos Aires, had already issued 100,000 cards by the end of 2021, up from 50.000 in the first month of operation.

According to data from the country’s central bank, the Argentine financial system has a total stock of 57 million debt cards through March 2021. Since the great lockdown of 2020 due to the Covid pandemic, the number of cards has remained relatively constant.

Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.

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