Argentine Currency Superchat Abuse Affects Country's VTuber Fans

The economically struggling country's official currency is being used—and abused—by superchatters including some in the VTubing community, leading to actual Argentinians not being able to superchat using their own currency. Here's what we know.

Among all currencies supported by YouTube's superchat feature, the Argentine Peso (ARS) is the cheapest. Some superchatters use the currency to send red superchats, which cost US$12.

  • Fans and antis send superchats this way to grab a VTuber's attention. Two years ago, a list of magenta and red superchat pricing for each supported country was posted on Reddit for reference.
  • YouTube has a separate guide on how to change language or location settings, but it does not change the currency. In order to switch your currency, you need to be in the country where such currency is used—or as we tested with a browser extension, have a VPN directed to that country.
  • There are reasons why superchatters use the currency—they could be maximizing their money, or that superchatting is not supported in their country and they eventually found out how to use the currency for such purpose.

What's Wrong With the Argentine Peso?

  • What most people do not know about the Argentina is that it's a highly volatile currency. One US dollar in Argentina is equal to 169 Argentine Pesos. This is due to the combined stagnation and inflation that has severely affected its economy. (This crisis has its own Wikipedia entry)
  • Argentina has an outstanding debt balance to the International Monetary Fund amounting to 42.2 billion US dollars, making it the top debtor in the list. The country needs billions of dollars to pay debts.
  • Argentinians do not even trust their own currency and instead rely on US dollars. The country has an official exchange rate, and a parallel informal rate. Last month, it added a tourist-only exchange rate.
Argentina adds another exchange rate -- for tourists only
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — In recent years, a moment often came when a visitor to Argentina suddenly grasped they could have gotten a lot more bang for their bucks if only they had brought cash to buy pesos on the unofficial market.

What Happens if Non-Argentinians Superchat Using the Argentine Peso?

Using the Argentine Peso to superchat means that taxes are not paid.

Argentinians who want to send a superchat, according to a resident there, will have to pay an additional 90% tax on top of the base price if they are using ARS. This especially applies to VTuber fans living there.

What Are the Actions Being Taken by VTubers to Curb This Abuse?

Vox Akuma added changes in his chat rules, stating that superchats in the currency should only be sent by those from Argentina.

Vox described this abuse as "cheating" in a recent stream. This comes after an infighting against his fans (kindred) has developed once more.

Our Take

Much is needed to be explain why the Argentine Peso is a weak currency compared to the US dollar—we find the situation confusing—which we will leave to actual financial experts to discuss.

For now, Vox Akuma and other VTubers have all the rights to ask their fans to discourage shortcuts to capture their idols' attention. It is a bad shortcut that only attracts bad actors to do their bidding.

As soon as Vox addressed the ARS matter, fans breathed a sigh of relief knowing that he cares for his kindred, and it reiterates his point that bad actors are not welcome and will not be recognized in his community.