25 years after being instated, the Central Bank (BCRA) will officially pull the 2 pesos bill out of circulation. Although it has not been publicly announced yet, sources within the bank– led by Federico Sturzenegger– told La Nacion that a callback will go into effect during the 6 months following October’s elections. Throughout the interim period, individuals may bring in the bills to the banks and exchange them for coins of the same denomination. After that, the bills that hold the image of Batolomé Mitre will no longer have legal validity.
The two pesos bill first entered the market back in 1992, under the BCRA’s leadership of Roque Fernández. Since it happened during the convertibility period, when the value of the Argentine peso was artificially pegged to the US dollar, the AR$ 2 bill was equivalent to that of US$ 2. However, economist Nicolás Bridger of the consulting firm Prefinex told La Nación that since 1992, inflation eroded the purchasing power of the bill by 3490%. In other words, what in 1992 was worth AR$ 2 is now the equivalent of AR$ 70.
Currently, a 2 pesos bill is worth about 11 cents in American dollars. On a day to day basis, it really can’t take you that far besides maybe a small piece of candy at a kiosk or 1/10th of a cheap empanada. And you can’t really get empanadas by the tenth.
Since 2011, the AR$ 2 coin has coexisted alongside the bill. Moving forward, it makes much more sense to just have coins, as it is calculated that 30% of a series of bills should be renewed every years to replace those that have deteriorated over time. Additionally, the printing press Ciccone has been publishing almost exclusively $100 pesos bills over the last few years, considering how small the other bills’ purchasing power has come to be.
This retrieval of low denomination bills will work hand in hand with the BCRA’s release of higher denomination bills such as $200, $500, and $1000 pesos – the latter is to be implemented in the next months – which are more applicable to Argentina’s current economic state. Additionally, these new bills sport adorable images of Argentina’s wildlife that exist in different regions throughout the country.
So goodbye to the 2 pesos bill forever, thanks for the memories. You may don the face of one of Argentina’s past presidents, but you also take up an extraneous amount of space in our wallets. It’s time to make way for the $200 pesos bill which can actually get you places throughout the day–like a heaping amount of quality empanadas.