Mexico to regulate cryptocurrency exchanges

Banks offering crypto-related services and exchanges will require a permit from the Bank of Mexico (Banxico) in order to operate. This is according to an announcement from the government that said the new rules are in line with the Mexican laws that regulate financial technology institutions.

According to the new regulations, companies that are seeking these permits will need to provide a business plan that describes their operations. They will also need to indicate the fees that they will be charging for those services and how they intend to fulfill Know-Your-Customer (KYC) laws.The businesses that apply for the permits will be issued with an electronic payment funds account to let them operate using cryptocurrencies.

Affected institutions are required to apply for permits since 11th September although they will need to wait until March 2019 when general provisions of the new fintech law will be issued.

The applications will be made online using a valid digital certificate although it is still allowed to mail applications to the central bank's payments systems department. In addition, the forms submitted will need to be signed by persons who have previously registered with the organizations.

The new regulations are aimed at "promoting the proper functioning of payment systems" and development of financial system, and to help protect public interests while allowing innovation in the payment services in the country. The new regulations are targeted at contributing to provision of payment services while mitigating risks that arise from usage of the related services.

The circular also contains regulations that aim at curbing money laundering and illegal activities. First, banks and cryptocurrency exchanges will need to identify all clients who perform crypto transactions. In addition, they will need to do verification when customers are transferring crypto assets to beneficiaries. Additionally, customers cannot buy cryptocurrency from their account on the same day the accounts are created.

Thus Mexican government is now following steps taken by U.S, EU, Japan, and South Korea governments in introducing crypto regulations that aim at limiting illegal activity.