Mexico’s Finance Minister, the Central Bank of Mexico, and the Securities Commission recently published a four-page joint statement claiming that,

Virtual assets or crypto-assets are mechanisms for the storage and exchange of electronic information. These have no intrinsic value and their technological characteristics may have various future uses that may determine their value. Therefore, they are assets with a very volatile value and are speculative.

English Translation: In recent days there has been a lot of interest around #cryptocurrencies. In this release @Hacienda_Mexico , @Banxico Y @cnbvmx We endorse the institutional position on this.

The financial authorities reaffirm the dangers of using so-called virtual assets as a means of exchange, a store of wealth, or another form of investment, as they did in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

Financial institutions that carry out and offer operations with “virtual assets” without authorization would be in breach of the regulations and will be subject to the applicable sanctions.

As a result, according to existing rules, financial institutions are not permitted to store or offer public activities involving virtual assets such as Bitcoin, Ether, or XRP, including deposits or any other kind of custody, such as exchange or transmission.

The statement on Monday also affirms that the government has not authorized the collection of deposits from the general public “through technological schemes related to blockchain or distributed registries, known as stablecoins.

Related: Former Greek Finance Minister claims Bitcoin creates feudalism

The announcement came after Billionaire businessman Ricardo Salinas Pliego, who heads one of Mexico’s largest conglomerates, launched a series of tweets in support of the world’s largest cryptocurrency early Sunday and said he is working to make his Banco Azteca the country’s first bank to accept bitcoin.

While the move may be opposed by regulators, Salinas has a track record of getting things done. The bank, Banko Azteca, was the first in almost a decade to get a banking license in Mexico. It now claims to have over 16 million savings accounts. It looks like, In the struggle to bring cryptocurrencies into Mexico, authorities and industry leaders may have to go mano-a-mano.

Eduardo Murat Hinojosa, a representative of the Mexican federal government recently tweeted in support of cryptocurrency “I will be promoting and proposing a legal framework for crypto coins in Mexico’s lower house.”

Mexico is also home to Bitso, Latin America’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which secured $250 million in a Series C funding round last month. 

Mexico, Paraguay, and El Salvador have all taken supportive regulatory positions toward the bitcoin industry. With China’s continuing crackdown, these nations might be the next safe haven for cryptocurrency exchanges, investors, and mining farms.

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