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Bank of Mexico says no to cryptocurriencies

Mexico City, Mexico — Mexico’s financial authorities have said that the country’s financial institutions are not authorized to carry out and offer cryptocurrency operations. They have also said that financial institutions that issue or offer such instruments will be responsible for the infractions.

Their statement was made after Banco Azteca president, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, posted on social media that bitcoin is a good way to diversify the portfolio of any investor, so he is working to bring it to his clients.

“At Banco Azteca we are working to bring them to our clients and continue promoting freedom,” the businessman wrote on his Twitter account.

In a joint statement, Banco de Mexico and the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) have said, “the country’s financial institutions are not authorized to carry out and offer to the public operations with virtual assets, such as Bitcoin, Ehter, XRP and others in order to maintain a healthy distance between them and the financial system.”

The Secretary of the Treasury of Banco de Mexico, Arturo Herrera, explained that this is not a new position as it has been reiterated through different circulars since cryptocurrencies are built on innovative elements that must be adopted in the financial system, and that a currency has three characteristics: it is a unit of measurement, it is a medium of exchange and it is a store of value.

“Clearly cryptocurrencies are not reserves of value, it is an asset today that is considered speculative, due to its variations it is not a means of exchange. It is associated with illegal operations to be completely frank because there is no traceability,” said Herrera.

“Financial institutions that carry out and offer operations with so-called “virtual assets” without authorization would be in breaches of regulations and will be subject to applicable sanctions,” the statement details.

“Although they can be exchanged, they do not fulfill the functions of money, since their acceptance as a means of payment is limited and they are not a good reserve or reference of value,” they added in their joint statement.

Banco de México says they will be in charge of authorizing operations with virtual assets.