A top Mexican official reiterated on Monday a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country’s financial system. Arturo Herrera, Mexico’s finance minister, said cryptocurrencies aren’t legal tender assets and aren’t treated as currencies within the country’s current regulatory framework.
Those bans are not expected to be lifted in the short term, Herrera said during a presentation to the Financial Action Task Force, a global anti-money laundering group.
The announcement comes after a Sunday pronouncement by billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego, a noted bitcoin bull, that he was working to make Banco Azteca the first bank in Mexico to accept the cryptocurrency. Salinas is chairman of Grupo Salinas, the bank’s parent company.
Herrera’s comments weren’t explicitly tied to Salinas’ pledge, but came within hours of the businessman’s announcement. Herrera said his secretariat will publish a four-page communiqué detailing the government’s position.
In a joint statement, the Central Bank of Mexico, the finance secretary and the National Banking and Securities Commission specified that cryptocurrencies are neither legal tender assets nor currencies under the current legal framework. In addition, they warned about the risks of using cryptocurrencies.