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Mexico Central Bank ‘Experiments’ With Bitcoin, Hints At Regulation

Wilma Woo

Wilma Woo | Apr 30, 2017 | 17:00

Mexico Central Bank News

Mexico Central Bank ‘Experiments’ With Bitcoin, Hints At Regulation

Wilma Woo

Wilma Woo | Apr 30, 2017 | 17:00


Mexico’s central bank governor has said it has “experimented” with Bitcoin with a view to possible regulation.

Carstens: Bank Has ‘Tested’ Bitcoin

Quoted by local news source Sobre Bitcoin, Bank of Mexico governor Agustín Carstens confirmed “small amounts” had formed the basis of an investigatory push to understand how cryptocurrency works in practice.

“There have been learning efforts, [Bitcoin] has not been used in any instance to perform central banking operations, rather there have been experiments comprising very small amounts,” he said.

Bitcoin will no doubt have fallen onto regulators’ radar in recent months, with interest and usage having increased considerably since November’s US election.

A fall in the value of the peso and concern about remittances to the US, in particular, have contributed to a thriving Mexican Bitcoin economy, with trading resources such as Localbitcoins recording consistent increases.

Agustín Carstens

‘Slow But Sure’ Road To Understanding

Concerning the future, Carstens gave a nod to Bitcoin’s ability to improve “financial inclusion.”

“Obviously, the idea […] is to privilege technological financial innovation that serves to lower transaction costs and allow greater inclusion,” he stated, adding that full understanding of the technical issues presented by cryptocurrency was essential at first.

…We have to be 100% convinced that we understand all the facets of this change. It’s an issue where we’re going to get to slowly but surely.

Mexico’s official stance on regulation was rumored to be expanded after statements at a March conference suggested what rules should govern digital assets such as Bitcoin.

Crypto ‘Problems’ Are ‘Worrying Thing’

In common with many jurisdictions meanwhile, Mexico’s central bank head also warned of “problems” associated with security of funds in the hands of lay consumers.

“The worrying thing is that periodically there are technical, technological, hacking, theft problems, and that makes us very nervous,” he concluded. “We have to be fully assured of technological integrity, that we are well armored, and that there is not exposure for the public.”

Although it is unclear which dangers are Carstens is referring to, it is likely consumer understanding of the technology could leave a lot to be desired.

The “technical” and “technological” problems meanwhile may be linked to the ongoing scaling debate and recent slowdowns in transaction processing, along with rising fees.

What do you think about Agustín Carstens’ statements? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of, AdobeStock

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