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Central Banks

Mexico puts out opposing statement to billionaire’s plan for Bitcoin

29 Jun 2021 : 11:28
3 min read
  • The central Bank of Mexico stated that cryptocurrencies will "not be allowed in Mexico's financial system"
  • The statement follows comments made by banker Richardo Pilego about accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment
  • The statements have arrived following comments from billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego on using crypto in Mexico

Mexico’s central bank issued a statement Monday saying cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not legal tender and cannot be used in the country’s financial system. The statement seems to have arrived following comments made by the Mexican banker yesterday that he wants his bank to be the first in Mexico to accept Bitcoin.

Mexico unlikely to change view on cryptocurrencies in the “near term”

Finance minister, Arturo Herrera, said at a press conference yesterday that under current rules cryptocurrencies are prohibited from being used in Mexico’s financial system, stressing that the ban is unlikely to change in the “near term”. Herrera is referring to a law passed in 2018, which states that cryptocurrencies would not be considered legal tender under any circumstances

He also commented on the possibility that banks will accept cryptocurrencies in the future, saying. “The country’s financial institutions are not authorized to carry out and offer to the public operations with virtual assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, XRP.” 

The comments were made following El Salvador’s announcement that it will make Bitcoin legal tender, as well as the growing interest in the cryptocurrency by Central and South American politicians.

The statement shoots down Salinas’ plan to accept Bitcoin at his bank

The statement from the Bank of Mexico, finance ministry, and the banking regulators appears to be a response to Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who said his banking business, Banco Azteca, could begin accepting Bitcoin on Sunday.  

Salinas’ comments came in response to a tweet from MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin bull Michael Saylor, who commented positively on a video of the Mexican businessman circulating on Twitter over the weekend. In the video, Salinas discusses why he believes “fiat is a fraud,” and why he wants to hold bitcoin for the next 30 years. He also explains that he believes Bitcoin is a better store of value than gold in the video.

According to Reuters, the Finance Minister comments were likely made to sabotage Salinas’ plan to accept Bitcoin, and analysts say it may even have been a strategic attack on Salinas because he is an ally of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s MORENA party. The tycoon had previously backed a MORENA bill that would have forced the Bank of Mexico to buy up foreign cash to help migrants and tourists repatriate to the US.

About Author

Stan Colenbrander

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Stan is the head of news and podcast host at Cryptonary. He was formerly a member of the Cryptonary Pro community. In early 2021, he decided to drop out of journalism school at university to pursue journalism in real life and make an impact in the crypto space. . His areas of interest include the NFT industry, decentralised finance, and crypto start-ups.

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