Argentina's currency is being sharply devalued as the government lifts limits on buying U.S. dollars for the first time in four years.

Minutes after exchange houses and banks opened Thursday, the peso was trading around 15 to one U.S. dollar. That represents a big drop in value compared to the rate of nine pesos to the dollar fixed by the government over the last year.

The new administration of President Mauricio Macri announced Wednesday night that restrictions on buying dollars would be lifted.

The preceding administration of President Cristina Fernandez instituted restrictions on buying foreign currency in 2011. It was an attempt to shore up dwindling foreign currency reserves,

However, the system created myriad problems for businesses and spawned a booming black market.