Mexico’s finance minister reiterated his country’s ban on cryptocurrencies on Monday, saying they are not legal tender and are not to be treated as currencies within the country, according to Yahoo! Finance.

Fast facts:

  • Mexico’s ban has been in place since 2019, when the country sought to restrict crypto exchanges dealing in fiat currency from accessing the country’s banking system.
  • On Sunday, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, billionaire owner of Banco Azteca, announced that the lender was planning to accept Bitcoin. Although Monday’s announcement by Finance Minister Arturo Herrera was not explicitly tied to Salinas’ comments, the announcements came within hours of one another.
  • Replying to a tweet by Michael Saylor, CEO of business intelligence software company MicroStrategy and a proponent of Bitcoin, Pliego said: “Sure, I recommend the use of #Bitcoin, and me and my bank are working to be the first bank in Mexico to accept #Bitcoin.” Banco Azteca has business operations in several Latin American countries.
  • In a video that Saylor pointed to in his tweet, Salinas said: “[Bitcoin] should be in every investor’s portfolio,” and bashed fiat currencies, calling them a “fraud” and “stinky,” citing the rapid depreciation of Mexican, Venezuelan, Argentinian and Zimbabwean currencies as evidence. 
  • With a net worth of more than US$15.8 billion, Salinas is the 166th-richest person in the world and the third-richest person in Mexico, according to Forbes. His business empire includes the second-biggest Mexican TV broadcaster, TV Azteca, and retailer Grupo Elektra.