Mexico’s digital peso delayed, unclear launch date

Mexico’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) development is still in an initial phase, and it is unlikely to be ready for launch by 2024. 

According to local media reports, Mexico’s central bank, known as Banxico, is currently working on legal, administrative, and technological requirements for the peso’s digital version. The first of three stages for the proposed launch timeline.

In December 2021, the local government announced its plan to introduce a national digital currency, noting on a Twitter post that the “new technologies and next-generation payment infrastructure” would improve Mexico’s financial inclusion and project the launch for 2024. A year later, authorities are reportedly avoiding predicting a launch date.

“The result of this initial phase entails the preparation of a budget that is currently being determined, and will in turn allow establishing a probable date on which the MDBC [CDBC] will be available,” stated the central bank of Mexico. 

Related: Why crypto remittance companies are flocking to Mexico

The original plan included in the first stage the creation of the PagoCel platform, allowing users to make bank transfers using their mobile numbers or personal information. A second phase will involve the country’s financial institutions, who will issue a security code for digital currencies to be transferred through the Interbank Electronic Payment System (SPEI), a transfer system owned and operated by the central bank.

A final stage of the project will allow participants without bank accounts to use the digital currency, thereby helping the country’s financial inclusion.

Mexico’s interest in cryptocurrency picked up momentum in 2021, when 40% of the firms in the country were interested in adopting blockchain and cryptocurrency, according to Triple A’s crypto ownership data.

Increasing interest in Bitcoin in Mexico has led to the installation of a Bitcoin ATM in its Senate building, with the support of several legislators and crypto enthusiasts, Cointelegraph reported. Mexico is the second-largest recipient of remittances in the world, with transfers reaching a record $5.3 billion between July 2021 and July 2022, according to statistics from the World Bank.

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