Bitcoin and the Dólar Blue in Argentina

James Downer:

The US dollar black market doesn’t just thrive in Buenos Aires, it’s published in the paper every morning. Swinging by one of the city’s newsstands, you’ll find the official peso to dollar rates published next to the ‘dólar blue’ rates at the top of the morning edition of La Nacion, and if you walk downtown to Calle Florida, the arbolitos that stand planted on the busy commercial street greet any foreigner they see with barks for “Cambio! Cambio! Cambio!” Currency restrictions have gotten more stringent in Argentina in recent years as the government struggles to prop up confidence in the peso by restricting the dollar. The restrictions have held the official rate down to around 8 to 1, but the blue rate at around 10 to 1 is so favorable that dollars determine tourism prices and denominate everything from technology purchases to property.