Bank of Mexico Governor: Bitcoin More Commodity Than Currency

The highest-ranking official at Banco de Mexico has stated that the central bank is unlikely to classify bitcoin as a currency.

Aug 28, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 6:52 a.m. UTC

The highest-ranking official at Banco de Mexico has stated he believes the central bank is unlikely to classify bitcoin as a currency.

According to local news source El Economista, the bank's governor, Agustín Carstens, said that, since bitcoin is not backed by a government or central bank, the cryptocurrency doesn't meet existing definitions of a currency. 

Rather, bitcoin should instead be considered more as a commodity, he went on, since "there is nothing to ensure its accounting in a financial system."

Due to its potential for anonymity and use in cybercrime, Carstens also urged that bitcoin should be dealt with as an "issue of cybersecurity," arguing that, although financial innovation should be encouraged, it should be done so in regards to the safety of users.

Making his comments during a lecture at Mexican technical university ITAM, the governor emphasized the role of the authorities in fintech, saying that "technological development in the financial system cannot be the result of innovation alone", but must occur in tandem with regulation by the financial authorities.

The country's authorities will soon propose legislation to regulate financial technologies, such as cryptocurrencies, he added.

Financial regulation in Mexico is the remit of the finance ministry, while the central bank is responsible for monetary policy and ensuring the operation of the financial system.

As reported by CoinDesk in 2014, the Bank of Mexico has previously clarified that digital currencies are not legal tender in the country, at the time restricting banks from using bitcoin.

Agustín Carstens image via Bank of Mexico/Flickr

The Festival for the Decentralized World
Thursday - Sunday, June 9-12, 2022
Austin, Texas
Save a Seat Now

DISCLOSURE

Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

Trending

1
CoinDesk - Unknown
Panama President Considers Vetoing Crypto Regulation Legislation

The bill was approved during a plenary session of the Legislative Assembly by a 40-0 vote on April 28.

The bill was approved during a plenary session of the Legislative Assembly by a 40-0 vote on April 28.

CoinDesk - Unknown
2
CoinDesk - Unknown
Ryder Ripps, Bored Apes and 'Owning' an NFT

A debate over fair use and copyright in the NFT age ensues.

A debate over fair use and copyright in the NFT age ensues.

CoinDesk - Unknown
3
CoinDesk - Unknown
Sponsor Labels

CoinDesk - Unknown
4
CoinDesk - Unknown
Bitcoin Returns Above $30K, Resistance at $35K

BTC appears oversold, although trading conditions have been choppy over the past few days.

BTC appears oversold, although trading conditions have been choppy over the past few days.

CoinDesk - Unknown