Mexico Passes Bill Regulating Cryptocurrencies and Exchanges – May Soon Be Law

Mexico is close to imposing laws that would clarify the status of cryptocurrencies in the country.

The bill, passed yesterday by Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies, its lower house legislature, needs the signature of President Enrique Pena Nieto before becoming law. It would regulate cryptocurrency exchanges in Mexico, putting them under the purview of the Central Bank, and strengthen anti-money laundering rules.

Additionally, the new law carries restrictions on initial coin offerings in the country, although details are not yet firm on how that would work. The law is currently in general form, and Mexican regulators will begin work on “secondary laws” which will provide morwie detail to the industries.

One change: The Bank of Mexico will have the authority on which coins can be listed on exchanges in the county. The exchanges have one year to comply.

In December, Banco de México and the country’s Ministry of Finance issued a warning in regard to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO).

In a joint statement, Mexico’s central bank and finance ministry emphasized that cryptocurrencies are not backed by any monetary authority and do not constitute legal tender in the country. The statement said that, to date, there have been no ICOs originating in Mexico.

“However, depending on their specific characteristics, some ICOs that originate and are emitted in Mexico could violate the Markets and Securities Law and constitute a financial crime,” the statement said. “Given their nature, virtual currencies have shown high volatility, as they are the subject of broad speculative activity.”

The Mexican regulators pointed out that while ICOs may be used in a legitimate manner, the complexity and variety of schemes like ICOs increase the risk of fraud. Therefore, anyone interested in ICOs should be prepared to risk losing their entire investment.

The authorities advised that only investors with extensive experience should consider investing in ICOs and to remain vigilant for signs of fraud.

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