Pro-Bitcoin Javier Milei trails as Argentina’s presidential election goes to run-off

Pro-Bitcoin (BTC) presidential candidate Javier Milei failed to secure victory in the first round of the Argentine presidential election and is now set to face off against economy minister Sergio Massa in a Nov. 19 run-off vote.

On Oct. 23, election results provided by Bloomberg show with over 90% of the vote counted — Massa was in the lead with over 36% support, while Milei trailed with just over 30% of the vote.

The presidential hopefuls needed 45% of votes or 40% with a lead of 10 percentage points to have outright won the presidency.

The result could be seen as unexpected as Milei won the most votes in the country’s primary presidential election in August capturing around 30% of the vote, which initially put him as the presidential frontrunner.

Milei calls himself an anarcho-capitalist, has rallied to slash the size of the government and abolish Argentina’s central bank claiming it’s a scam. He also plans to ditch the Argentinian peso for the U.S. dollar, mirroring the Bitcoin-friendly El Salvador.

Milei’s Liberty Advances (La Libertad Avanza) coalition has been described as anywhere between libertarian and far-right populist.

Related: Bitcoin soars in Argentina as Javier Milei wins presidential primary

Milei has also called Bitcoin a reaction against “central bank scammers” and claimed fiat currency allows politicians to scam Argentines with inflation.

Massa, on the other hand, has pledged to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC) if elected to “solve” Argentina’s long-lasting inflation crisis and has squashed the idea of adopting the dollar.

The vote comes amid 40% of Argentines facing poverty and tiring of the country’s mounting debt crisis. Annual inflation is also closing in on 140%.

Argentina will again head to the polls on Nov. 19. The candidate with the most votes will win the presidency for a four-year term.

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