Latam Insights: Bukele Frontrunned Blackrock’s Bitcoin ETF Move, Bitcoin Lease Contracts in Argentina

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Welcome to Latam Insights, a compendium of Latin America’s most relevant crypto and economic news during the last week. In this issue: El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele states they got into Bitcoin before Blackrock, the first bitcoin-settled lease contract goes live in Argentina, and the Venezuelan petro will be liquidated, according to reports.

El Salvador Frontrunned Blackrock on Getting Into Bitcoin

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele celebrated the approval of a myriad of spot Bitcoin ETF products. In a post on X, the leader stated:

So, we got in way before Blackrock.

The landmark approval of these instruments serves as a validation of the model that Bukele instituted in his country, given that El Salvador was the first state nation that approved the use of bitcoin as a legal tender even in the face of criticism by institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Today, El Salvador holds about 2,381 BTC in its coffers and has made bitcoin a pivotal part of its state policy, projecting Bitcoin courses to be included in school curriculums, passing laws that give bitcoin donors the possibility of acquiring Salvadoran citizenship, and planning to issue its first Volcano Bonds on Q1 2024.

First Bitcoin-Settled Lease Agreement Goes Live in Argentina

Argentina has reached a milestone in crypto adoption, registering one of the first contracts involving bitcoin payments. According to La Capital, a local Argentine news outlet, the first bitcoin-settled lease agreement was recently signed in Rosario City after the repeal of the lease and rental laws by President Milei’s emergency executive order.

The agreement stipulates that the tenant will pay the equivalent of $100 USDT in Bitcoin to the landlord each month, having selected Fiwind, a national cryptocurrency exchange, as the provider of the referential bitcoin price to execute these payments. The contract also determines that the tenant will execute these payments during the first five days of each month to an address provided by the landlord.

Venezuelan Petro Reportedly to Be Liquidated

The life of the Venezuelan petro, one of the first state-backed cryptocurrencies, might be ending soon. According to reports from Asonacrip, a Venezuelan cryptocurrency group, the government would be preparing to liquidate all the petro in circulation, automatically exchanging them for bolivares, the Venezuelan fiat currency.

The information coincides with the liquidation of other crypto assets held in government-managed wallets, which will also be converted to Venezuelan bolivares on January 15.

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