Monday's Markets Update (November 20, 2023)
On Monday, the major stock indexes gained, with the Nasdaq leading the way, as Microsoft reached an all-time high following news that the company has hired two former OpenAI executives to head a new advanced AI research team. Still, most traders awaited the FOMC's minutes on Tuesday, which could provide clues about the Fed's monetary policy outlook. Meanwhile, BTC and ETH retreated back to their Friday's close after a sudden Sunday's surge on the victory of Javier Milei in Argentina's general election.
The pro-bitcoin candidate won Argentina's election. Javier Milei beat his opponent by over 2.7M votes. Though Milei hasn't proposed making bitcoin legal tender, he wants to replace the hyperinflating peso with the USD. The new president takes office Dec. 10.
Milei's political platform is not expected to incorporate Bitcoin, at least initially, and possibly not at all. Although Milei seldom discusses Bitcoin publicly, he doesn't come across as a fervent supporter; rather, he seems to align with an anti-establishment ethos to resonate with his base. Bitcoin, for him, appears more of a distraction than a practical tool. Furthermore, Milei is cautious not to antagonize the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the IMF disapproves of Bitcoin, and Argentina, having accepted a $45 billion IMF loan, is obligated to discourage cryptocurrency use.
While Milei may be radical enough to defy the IMF, severing ties with China, another major international lender, would be economically perilous. Despite this, there is optimism that Milei won't impede the growing interest in Bitcoin within Argentina, and restrictions on banks providing crypto services might be eased. Although Bitcoin has thrived amid Argentina's economic challenges, it is unlikely to become the country's standard currency. Milei's stance on Bitcoin differs from that of El Salvador's president, who views Bitcoin as a tool for freedom and is less bound to the IMF.
Despite uncertainties, Bitcoin stands to benefit from Argentina's evolving economic landscape, fostering local interest and potentially contributing to the country's resurgence by providing a model for nations seeking to overcome the pitfalls of socialism.