Mexico Turns Bitcoin Development Down after Billionaire’s Crypto Pitch

Mexico financial regulatory authorities issued a joint statement Monday, prohibiting financial institutions from using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) in the financial system in the country.

The statement just came a day after Mexico Billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego’s comments over the weekend, who claimed to develop his bank Banco Azteca as the first financial institutions to accept Bitcoin.

Regulatory watchdogs, including the Central Bank of Mexico (Banco de México), the finance ministry and banking regulators warned the risk of the crypto-assets, saying that the authorities would not consider these “virtual assets” as a “means of exchange, as a store of value or the form of investment” under the current Mexican legal framework, the statement said, according to Reuters.

“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 and others to maintain a healthy distance between them and financial system.”

Nevertheless, Banco Azteca was not directly quoted in the authorities’ statement. Salinas , the third-richest tycoon in Mexico, said on Twitter last Sunday, recommending to use BTC, his bank and himself “will be the first bank to accept BTC in Mexico”.

The 65-year-old billionaire owns an estimated $15.8 billion in assets; his businesses are widespread across retail, banking and broadcast sectors. The Mexican fortune has accumulated 2.8 billion more this year. Salinas said last November that around 10% of the liquid portfolio had invested in Bitcoin.

According to CNBC, the Central Bank of Mexico is dealing with domestic inflation aggressively, raising interest rates to 4.25% last week. However, the public is concerned about devaluation as the local inflation rate climbs above 6%. Salinas even has called the “fiat as a fraud” in an interview previously. 

The price of Bitcoin was trading at $34,812, slightly up 0.46% during the intraday, according to CoinMarketCap.

Image source: Shutterstock

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