Not long ago, a billionaire in Mexico named Ricardo Salinas Pliego stated that he was working with his bank (known as Banco Azteca) to ensure customers could gain access to crypto and blockchain services. While Pliego is excited about the prospects of digital currency, his country is not as enthusiastic.
Mexico Will Not Permit Banks to Enter the BTC Forum
On social media, Pliego stated the following:
Bitcoin is a good way to diversify your investment portfolio and I think every investor should study cryptocurrencies and their future. At Banco Azteca, we are working to bring them to our customers and continue promoting freedom.
Financial regulators in Mexico took notice of the message and were quick to issue a response. They stated that Mexico does not permit standard banks and financial institutions to initiate cryptocurrency transactions, and that all who did were in violation of the country’s monetary rules. Among the many reasons for disallowing bitcoin payments and transactions was ongoing volatility.
Mexico’s central bank says:
This country’s financial institutions are not authorized to conduct or offer to the public transactions with virtual assets like bitcoin. Whoever issues or offers such instruments will be held responsible for violating those rules and will be subject to the applicable sanctions.
One of the reasons Pliego may be citing bitcoin as a means of staying financially healthy is his frustration with the U.S. dollar. In a follow up message, the billionaire stated:
The dollar has silently stolen your purchasing power since 1913. Buy bitcoin!
In situations like this, it may be Mexico that has the wrong idea. Disallowing cryptocurrency activity and related transactions is likely keeping a huge portion of Latin America out of a growing financial space.
Recently, El Salvador became the first country in the world to declare bitcoin legal tender, meaning residents could potentially use bitcoin as a means of payment for goods and services if they so wished. The country has also stated its intention to issue $30 in BTC to every citizen that signs up for the country’s new digital wallet “Chivo.” Since then, it appears enthusiasm for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has grown significantly throughout Latin America.
In the South American country of Paraguay, for example, rumors have begun that the nation will be next in line to adopt bitcoin as a national currency after lawmaker Carlos Rejala sent out the following tweet:
This is Paraguay. July, we legislate! #Bitcoin.
Latin America Is Loving BTC
Also, in Panama, 32-year-old congressman Gabriel Silva pledged support for bitcoin by issuing a tweet on June 7 that stated he was looking to formulate a proposal for crypto use and regulation within the country. He stated:
This is important, and Panama cannot be left behind. If we want to be a true technology and entrepreneurship hub, we need to support cryptocurrencies.