Argentina is one of the very few countries that can boast to having a stable crypto ecosystem as well as investing in blockchain technology.
The South American country has seen increased adoption of digital coins and many Argentina blockchain projects benefit from government support.
A brief look at Argentina’s economic situation
The appetite for cryptocurrencies and blockchain could be partly due to the country’s troublesome economic situation. Argentina’s financial system is struggling to avoid collapse. This makes fintech solutions appealing to authorities as well as much of the population.
Most local people don’t trust traditional financial institutions and are drained by excessive bureaucracy. Argentina still has a high number of unbanked citizens. In fact, around 52% of Argentina’s adult population don’t have a bank account.
The inflation level skyrocketed to 57.3% last spring and has remained stuck above 50%, despite predictions to the contrary. People earning the minimum wage can’t keep up with the speed at which prices are rising and many are barely able to buy staple foods.
All this economic turmoil is accompanied by a political crisis, as President Macri is at risk of losing the next election in October.
Innovative Argentina blockchain solutions
Fortunately, political instability isn’t stopping blockchain enthusiasts. Argentina is home to many blockchain-based start-ups that can help give people more control over their money. Among them, there are Ripio, Carnes Validadas, and Experimental.
Formerly know as BitPagos, Ripio started an easy-to-use platform that enabled users to buy, sell, invest, or trade cryptocurrencies. In a country where purchasing foreign currency is now restricted by the government, Ripio can help those who want to protect their savings against rising inflation.
Besides being a cryptocurrency exchange, the company has developed a series of blockchain-based applications. Back in 2017, Ripio’s ICO raised $37 million to launch the Ripio Credit Network (RCN). Now the company is aiming to create a decentralised international debt market. Lenders and borrowers can use RCN to complete transparent, frictionless transactions.
The system was created to benefit all end-users. They can request credit directly from their digital wallets. In exchange for a small fee, the network creates a smart contract that allows people to finance loan requests.
The company is looking to expand its financial services to cover more market gaps in Argentina and around the world.
Carnes Validadas is a blockchain-based start-up that claims to bring together all the stakeholders such as farmers and companies in the meat supply chain. It’s another example of how Argentina blockchain projects can contribute to the country’s economy.
In Argentina, beef is big business. This Latin country owes most of its economic growth to agriculture, and especially meat exports. While it may have lost market share due to the internal crisis, Argentina is still the eighth largest beef exporter worldwide, with exports reaching $1.93 billion in 2018.
The country has seen consistent growth in this area, but agriculture policies can’t keep up with the pace that farmers need to do business.
Carnes Validadas is looking to use the benefits of blockchain technology to support the beef industry in Argentina. The start-up announced the launch of a platform called Validated Meat – sort of an identification platform for cows.
Here, the meat can be traced back to its original producer. The tool will provide consumers with all the information needed to ensure transparency and build trust in Argentina’s meat products.
Experimental is an Argentinian start-up looking to disrupt the gaming industry. The company claims to be the “first gaming studio in the world to leverage blockchain technologies”.
The team behind Experimental created CryptoWars, a strategy game that runs on Ethereum smart contracts. It’s the first real-time strategy game to be fully decentralised, developed on top of a blockchain. The start-up gathered $500,000 this spring from several investors.
Besides providing entertainment, the game was designed to teach players how to embrace change in real-life situations. On top of that, the more people play and achieve their in-game goals, the higher the rewards. The game uses a series of incentives to encourage engagement, allowing people to save money in the stablecoin DAI, the cryptocurrency that powers the network.
These three projects are just a sample of the Argentina blockchain ecosystem which also includes well-known initiatives such as RSK. Moreover, the country is seeing increased interest in implementing tech solutions both from investors and authorities.
In March, Argentina’s government signed an agreement with Binance Labs to support blockchain-based start-ups. Through the Ministry of Production and Labour, the state is ready to offer $50,000 grants for every project supported by Binance Labs for up to 10 projects annually.
Despite going through troubled times, the blockchain ecosystem is thriving here and the future for this young industry at least looks bright.