Argentine martial arts athlete Guido Cannetti, an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter, is the first sportsperson in the country to receive 100% of his salary in stablecoins. The news is significant as the Latin American country reels under soaring inflation and economic downturn.
The UFC fighter is collaborating with Bitwage, a popular Bitcoin payroll provider, to receive his earnings in crypto. Guido will receive 100% of his salary in USDC stablecoin through the Stellar Network on Vibrant, a wallet app developed by the Stellar team. The partnership was announced on 26 September on the Bitwage website.
While Guido is the first Argentine to receive his salary in crypto, he is joining a long line of ambassadors who back Bitwage. Some of them are UFC fighters Luana Pinheiro and Matheus Nicolau, US soccer players Achara Infunanyachi and Alex Crognale, and American NFL player Alex Barrett.
Inflation is the driving factor
2022 witnessed a rise in inflation around the globe and Argentina is among the severely affected. Inflation in the 12-month period came in at 78.5%, whereas consumer prices in the first eight months of the year were up 56.4%. The country’s central bank has estimated a 95% inflation rate for the year, while some private analysts forecast a 100% inflation rate in 2022.
About 51% of Argentines purchased crypto and 27% regularly bought cryptocurrencies, according to a survey conducted by Americas Market Intelligence in April. The numbers mark an exponential increase from the 12% adoption seen in 2021. The survey further indicated that 67% of respondents purchased cryptocurrencies as a hedge against inflation.