Banco de México, Mexico's central bank, was quick to shoot down plans voiced by the country's third-richest person Ricardo Salina for his bank Banco Azteca to become the first bank in Mexico to accept bitcoin.
Late last week, Salinas spoke about Bitcoin as "an asset that should be part of every investor's portfolio" and that "is traded with an enormous liquidity at a global level."
In his now widely quoted statement, Salinas famously said that "fiat is a fraud" and called "the dollar as hard money [...] a joke."
This seems to have displeased Banco de México, which took to quickly issuing a counter-statement reiterating warnings it has published about Bitcoin in 2014, 2017, and 2019. "The country's financial institutions are not authorized to carry out and offer to the public operations with virtual assets such as Bitcoin," the statement reads, adding that those who do will face "applicable sanctions."
The central bank, which describes its mission statement as "[preserving] the value of Mexico’s currency in the long term in order to improve Mexicans’ well-being," further wrote that virtual assets "are mechanisms for the storage and exchange of electronic information" and have no intrinsic value.
Further, Bitcoin and other virtual assets "are considered speculative," the bank stated. "Their acceptance as a means of payment is limited and they are not a good reserve or reference of value."
The bank statement links back to its previously issued warnings, which include further language detailing its position, such as that Bitcoin is not legal tender in Mexico because the central bank does not issue or endorse it.
Salinas has thus far shown himself little impressed with the statement. Commenting on the developments on Twitter, he said on Monday, "We will see."