The new 2,000 peso banknote, the highest denomination banknote in Argentina, was launched today, which due to the rapid devaluation of the national currency is worth $8.50 – at the official exchange rate – and on the parallel market corresponds to just $4 ( 3.70 euros).

The Argentine peso has lost about a quarter of its value against the US dollar this year, despite strict capital controls slowing its slide. Most Argentines buy dollars in unofficial markets, where the exchange rate is 480 pesos to the dollar (compared to 235 based on the official exchange rate).

The Latin American country is facing one of the highest inflation rates in the world. It is currently at 109% year-on-year, but is forecast to rise to 130% by the end of the year.

Argentina’s central bank recently raised its interest rate to 97%.

As around half of all commercial transactions in Argentina are still carried out in cash, the introduction of the new currency will make it easier for banks that have been facing a lack of space, but also for tourists who have been walking around with “bloated pockets” to do their shopping.

“The new banknote will improve the operation of ATMs and optimize cash transactions,” Argentina’s central bank said in a statement. Until today, the highest denomination banknote was the 1,000 peso.