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A warning from the country’s banking regulators appeared to be aimed directly at Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who said on Sunday that his bank would consider taking Bitcoin.
Financial regulators in Mexico have issued a warning to financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies, claiming that digital assets are still not considered legal money in the nation.
In a Monday press conference, representatives from Mexico’s finance ministry, the Bank of Mexico, and the National Banking and Securities Commission issued a joint statement warning investors virtual assets carried inherent risks as a medium of exchange and store of value.They also stated that any financial institution established in Mexico is “not authorised to carry out and offer to the public operations with virtual assets,” citing Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and XRP as examples.
In light of Ricardo Salinas Pliego’s recent Bitcoin declaration, the country’s financial authorities and central bank appeared to be pursuing him. In an apparent effort to promote wider adoption, Mexico’s third richest man stated on Sunday that he was investigating the prospect of his bank, Banco Azteca, accepting Bitcoin.
However, finance minister Arturo Herrera said financial systems in Mexico are prohibited from using cryptocurrencies, a policy that was unlikely to change in the near future. The authorities added that they would follow the evolution of cryptocurrency as well as the potential uses of its underlying technology, but still referred to digital assets as volatile, speculative, and a less effective medium of exchange than fiat.
While Mexico appears to be strongly anti-crypto, its neighbours have done the opposite, pushing crypto as a legitimate currency and encouraging companies to accept Bitcoin. El Salvador approved legislation proclaiming Bitcoin to be legal money earlier this month, and Paraguayan congressman Carlos Rejala announced he will introduce a similar bill in his country’s national parliament on July 14.
Despite the fact that at least two Mexican politicians advocated for the creation of a legal framework for cryptocurrency in the aftermath of El Salvador’s move, the news from financial regulators on Monday shows that certain authorities remain sceptical of the notion. Last year, the director of Mexico’s finance ministry’s financial intelligence section stated that cartels were increasingly using cryptocurrency to launder cash, and that the country’s law enforcement lacked the tools needed to combat money laundering when cryptocurrency was involved.