Will Mexico follow El Salvador’s path and open up to Bitcoin? Apparently not yet, but it is not known what the future will bring …
Mexico warns against BTC
Mexico’s financial regulatory authorities warn of financial institutions that support cryptocurrencies. They emphasize that digital assets are still not recognized as legal tender in the country.
These words fell on Monday’s press conference representatives of the Mexican Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Mexico and the National Banking and Securities Commission. Officials issued a joint statement warning investors that digital assets carry an inherent risk of value storage. It was emphasized that no financial institution based in Mexico “Is not authorized to conduct and offer public operations with virtual assets”, specifically mentioning Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) and XRP.
It appears that the country’s financial regulators and central bank are targeting Ricardo Salinas Pli following his recent Bitcoin announcement. He said he was investigating the possibility of his bank accepting it, and Billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego wants his bank to accept BTC.
Finance Minister Arturo Herrera said Mexico’s financial systems are not allowed to use cryptocurrencies. As he added, this is unlikely to change in the near future. However, authorities added that they will be tracking the evolution of the cryptocurrency as well as the potential applications of its underlying technology. Today they still define digital assets as volatile, speculative, and less effective as a medium of exchange than national currencies.
El Salvador opens up to BTC
While Mexico is taking a skeptical stance, its neighbors have done the opposite by promoting cryptocurrency and encouraging companies to accept Bitcoin. Earlier this month, El Salvador passed a law that indicates Bitcoin will be accepted as legal tender. In turn, Paraguayan congressman Carlos Rejala announced that on July 14 he will present a similar law in the parliament of his country.
While at least two lawmakers in Mexico have offered to create a legal framework for cryptocurrencies after El Salvador’s decision, Monday’s announcement by financial regulators suggests some authorities are still hesitating about the idea. Last year, the head of the financial intelligence unit at the Mexican Ministry of Finance said cartels are increasing the use of cryptocurrencies for money laundering and said law enforcement in the country lacks the resources needed to combat money laundering when cryptocurrencies are at stake.