Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the country is unlikely to follow El Salvador’s leadership by adopting cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as legal tender along with securities.
At a press conference on Thursday, Obrador, also known as AMLO, said Mexico “must remain faithful” in financial management and will not change its attitude towards cryptocurrencies. The Bank of Mexico and the National Commission on Banks and Securities issued a statement in June warning that financial institutions “have no authority to conduct or offer transactions with virtual assets,” but the president did not specifically speak about it directly.
AMLO responded to a reporter who asked if Mexico would consider following the example of El Salvador, where Bitcoin (BTC) has been accepted as legal tender since September. He added that while there are many innovations in finance, Mexico must also be aware of the problems of tax evasion.
At least two lawmakers in Mexico have proposed that the country adopt digital assets to “spearhead the transition to crypto and financial technology.” Ricardo Salinas Blego, billionaire and one of the richest men in Mexico and founder of Bank Azteca, said the central bank would look into accepting cryptocurrencies. While there are many individuals in the public and private sector in the country who support the use of cryptocurrencies, the country’s authorities reported in 2020 that cartels are increasingly laundering money using digital assets.
On the subject: Bitcoin transactions are “like barter,” says the Governor of the Bank of Mexico.
Other Latin American countries appear to have taken steps towards wider adoption of cryptocurrencies, but opposition arose in El Salvador after President Neb Pockel announced that he would be promoting with legal tender for bitcoin. In September, residents burned down the Chivo crypto barn in the country’s capital during a protest march against Bukele’s policies.