Mexican Periodical El Universal recently reported that the latest draft of a bill currently being passed through the Mexican senate includes provisions to develop a legal framework that will allow Mexican banks to store cryptocurrencies.
The bill, which is entitled the “Law Regulating the Financial Technology Institutions”, colloquially known as the “Fintech Law”, has also been expanded to provide a framework for electronic payment-processing companies (ie PayPal) to process cryptocurrency transactions.
Additionally, the bill grants new permissions to the CNBV (Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores) financial regulator that will allow new regulations to be put in place in tandem with the creation of new financial technologies. “This is because non-traditional financial institutions can develop products and services that didn’t exist when the law was passed,” explained CEO of Prestadero, Gerardo Obregón, to BNAmericas.
If new regulations are passed through Congress (the traditional way), they can take up to three years to pass – a timeline that would critically impair Mexico’s ability to keep up with the global pace of innovation in financial technology.
Mexico Acknowledges the Need to Foster Innovation
The FinTech Law has been circulating through the Mexican legal system since spring of this year; previous drafts included language that clarified Mexico’s stance on the legal status on cryptocurrencies. In the September draft of the bill, cryptocurrencies did not have a standing as legal tender in Mexico. Firms wishing to deal in cryptocurrencies required “the prior authorization of the Bank of Mexico.”
The legislation currently outlined in the bill proposes stricter regulations for banks than Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC). El Universal reported that the language of the draft acknowledged the need for regulation “that allows authorities to mitigate risks and allow for growth in a competitive environment.”
Adam Reese of ETHnews reported that based on the provisions of the latest draft, “it seems feasible that customer-owned digital assets in the possession of regulated institutions will be visible to some government entities.”
While Mexico is not exactly known as an international hotspot for cryptocurrencies, it hasn’t exactly been a crypto desert either. Mexican exchanges Bitso and Volabit have been operating successfully in the country since 2014; the innovative language of the new law may be just the right thing to get the crypto ball really rolling in the country.