The peso is the official currency of Argentina. This decimalized currency is subdivided into 100 centavos, as is common in Latin American currencies. The current Argentine peso is strictly distinct from other previous Argentine currencies also known as pesos. Argentine currency is known for going through periods of high inflation. The solution to the inflation problem has always been to introduce a new currency with the same name but at a more appropriate exchange ratio. Today, the Central Bank of Argentina maintains the economic system through periodic purchases and sales of securities with the country’s commercial banks.
In the past, the Argentine peso was identified with specific symbols such as the $m/n or m$n, both of which stand for moneda nacional. The newest peso introduced to Argentina is officially known only as the peso, but it is sometimes differentiated by the term peso convertible.
The origin of the Argentine peso begins in 1826, a full decade after Argentina gained independence. Before this time, the standard currency was the Spanish eight-real, but in Argentina, it was referred to as a peso. In 1826, Argentina began to mint coins and print banknotes in pesos and centavos. The first pesos were based on the gold standard. The peso fuerte was an early paper currency that was valued at 17 peso fuertes: 1 Spanish ounce fine gold. In the period from 1826 to 1881, the peso fuerte’s rate was lowered to 16 pesos per ounce of gold, and the currency was replaced by the peso moneda nacional at a one-to-one ratio.
At the same time that the peso fuerte was in use, another currency co-existed beside it called the peso moneda corriente. However, after 1881, this oft-described anarchistic currency system ended with the introduction of the peso oro sellado on the gold standard and the silver peso on the silver standard. This standard stayed in-effect until 1970 when the peso ley was introduced. One peso ley was set at 100 pesos moneda nacional. In 1983, another peso replaced the peso ley. The peso argentino was introduced at a value of 1 peso argentino to 10,000 pesos ley, which was equal to 1 million peso moneda nacional, the previous incarnation of the peso.
From 1985 to 1991, the austral became the legal tender of Argentina at a value of 1 austral to 1000 pesos argentinos. The current Argentine peso was introduced in 1992 at a rate of 1 peso to 10,000 australes, and the Central Bank of Argentina attempts to keep it stable in comparison to the Brazilian real.