Mexican Lawmakers Advance Bill to Regulate Bitcoin, Fintech Firms

The upper chamber of Mexico's national legislature has approved a bill that would bring bitcoin exchanges under the oversight of the central bank.

AccessTimeIconDec 6, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:14 a.m. UTC

The upper chamber of Mexico's national legislature has approved a financial technology bill that would bring local bitcoin exchanges under the oversight of the central bank.

According to Reuters, the bill cleared the Mexican Senate on Dec. 5, setting the stage for its consideration and potential passage in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the legislature. Citing sources familiar with the process, Reuters reported that the bill is expected to clear the Chamber of Deputies on Dec. 15.

As previously reported, the measure, as currently written, would clarify that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in Mexico. Further, exchanges and other companies that handle cryptocurrencies would be officially regulated by the Banco de Mexico, Mexico's central bank.

The goal of the change is to provide legal clarity for companies, including those working with bitcoin, that are creating new kinds of products and services.

Yet, as Reuters highlights, the finer details of the bill are still being ironed out, as so-called secondary laws are expected to further build on the measure.

Statements from officials at the Banco de Mexico offer insight into how the central bank might go about regulating cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, Agustin Carstens, the institution's governor, was quoted by local media as saying that bitcoin should be considered more akin to a commodity than a currency.

In mid-2014, the Banco de Mexico moved to prohibit banks in the country from directly handling bitcoin.

Mexico City image via Shutterstock


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.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.