The Argentine Peso Is Junk
Frankly, I’m surprised that it’s taken Steam so long to make this announcement. The Argentine peso is practically worthless and is losing about 10% of its value every week. In fact, some experts forecast that it will plunge a further 100% next year, which isn’t out of the question at all. This isn’t the first time that Steam has made payment method changes for countries such as Argentina, Turkey, and Russia. The volatility of such currencies deems local transactions to be high risk. For most of my time residing in Argentina, I’ve been able to pay Steam in US dollars, Then, some years ago the local currency option was chosen, PayPal was dropped for Argentina, and numerous local debit and credit cards could be used. This all changed about four years ago when only certain Mastercard and Visa cards were accepted and here we are today with galloping 140% inflation and a monetary policy based on Alice In Wonderland. So it’s hardly surprising that Steam will opt for the US dollar from the 20th of November with regional pricing still being applied based on local earning power.
Spend Your Steam Wallet Money!
Over the years I’ve been selling trading cards which are items gifted to you during certain games and they have a monetary value. Once sold in the Steam marketplace, your Steam wallet is credited in local currency which has enabled me to buy games at rock-bottom prices.
What will happen to my Argentine peso or Turkish lira Steam wallet balance?
On November 20th, 2023, any balance in your Steam wallet will be converted to USD at the day’s exchange rate.
I have a grand total of ten pesos in my Steam wallet because I’ve made sure to spend it on games as fast as possible due to inflation. To put this in perspective, about four years ago I would have needed about 45 pesos to buy one dollar. Today I need 1100 and it won’t stop there.
But this isn’t the whole story because the heinous Argentine taxes will still be in force if one uses a local Mastercard or Visa to pay for games in US dollars because once the card entity makes the conversion, a series of local, populist taxes amounting to over 95% kick in. The only way around this trap is to have a bank or credit card account outside Argentina or a PayPal account in US dollars which most Argentines do not have.
For further reading on the Argentine basket case economy, please stay tuned because just when you think the light at the end of the tunnel is salvation, it turns out to be yet another train. So I may well be penning a further diatribe on life with hyperinflation in the coming days, especially since we’ve now had a particularly venomous general election with a presidential run-off due next month.