Carlos Maslatón: “Bitcoin is the most important financial invention in history”

The Argentine lawyer argued about the nature of Bitcoin, its use cases and why it is valuable.

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Argentine lawyer Carlos Maslatón describes Bitcoin as “the most important financial invention in history”. At least, this is what he said last Friday in a dialogue with economist Maximiliano Montenegro.

The conversation, which is published on the YouTube channel “Plan M – Maxi Montenegro“, lasted more than an hour. Both exchanged ideas related to the slogan: “Super dollar versus Bitcoin, how does it end?”.

“The main characteristic that Bitcoin has is that it defines from day 1 of its existence how many units the monetary system is going to have: 21 million bitcoins (BTC),” explained Maslatón.

According to the lawyer, who has expressed desires to be a candidate for president of his country, the limited issuance of Bitcoin “is a unique property in history”.

Not even when there was the gold standard, that the amount of circulating [fiat money] was tied to an amount of gold reserve, was there anything like that. Because you could find gold and issue more certificates against that gold. But with Bitcoin, no.

Is bitcoin a currency or not?

The dialogue between the economist and the lawyer, both graduates of the University of Buenos Aires, then focused on defining BTC. Can it be considered a currency? Both showed opposing positions.

For Montenegro, the answer is negative. He argues that a currency must fulfill three properties that, in his opinion, BTC does not necessarily fulfill:

  • to serve as a means of payment,
  • to be a unit of account and
  • to be a store of value.

He especially emphasized that the adoption of bitcoin as a means of payment is “insignificant”.

He based this idea on dialogues he said he had held with executives of Mercado Libre and other e-commerce companies.

Maslatón, when asked if bitcoin is a currency, answered in the affirmative. In addition, he disagreed that a currency must meet those three properties mentioned above.

He expressed his doubts about the insignificance of BTC payments mentioned by Montenegro. He pointed out that there are ways to automatically convert cryptocurrencies to fiat money when making a payment.

For the lawyer, the payments thus made should be considered payments in BTC, since that is the money spent by whoever cancels the debt.

Maslatón on CBDCs: “No matter how much the US issues them, that’s socialism”.

On his Twitter account, Maslaton describes himself as a “national right-wing liberal, anti-communist and Manchesterian capitalist.”

In line with those ideologies, during the dialogue with Montenegro, he opined on central bank digital currencies (or CBDCs).

“The latest global tide of socialism is to create official government cryptocurrencies. The idea is to grab all the dollars that exist now and make them official cryptocurrencies,” explained the former councilman of the Argentine capital.

For him, when that happens, “the control [of the State] over the individual will be total”.

CBDCs function as centralized databases held by the government, which can control all the financial movements of the inhabitants of the territory under its control.

Montenegro responded to Maslatón’s statements: “You say that it is something of world socialism, but that is done by capitalism, the United States is thinking about it, the Secretary of the Treasury has said so”.

Maslatón’s counterargument was that, no matter who does it, a CBDC is a socialist tool.

It is worth noting that, although he defines himself as “right-wing”, Maslatón recognizes that Bitcoin has been adopted by people of different political and economic ideologies. “It has been supported by libertarians, right-wing liberals and also by lefties,” says the lawyer. For him, this massive support gives value to Satoshi Nakamoto’s cryptocurrency: “otherwise, it would have disappeared”.

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