NewsCoins

Mexico Senator Proposes Bitcoin Legal Tender Bill—But It's Unlikely to Pass

Indira Kempis wants her country to join El Salvador in making Bitcoin legal tender.

2 min read
Flying the flag for Bitcoin in Mexico. Image: Shutterstock

In brief

  • Indira Kempis is pro-Bitcoin. Mexico's president is not.
  • Moreover, Kempis is a member of an opposition party, so her efforts are less likely to gain traction.

Indira Kempis, a senator from the state of Nuevo Leon in Mexico, wants to make her country the second in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender, even though the odds are stacked against her.

In an interview with Diario El Salvador, the legislator praised Bitcoin's attributes as an inclusive currency that benefits the unbanked. She said she has been consulting with people knowledgeable in the asset, and now she wants to use her political influence to promote the usability of Bitcoin in all of Mexico.

"We need bitcoin to be a legal tender in Mexico, because if not, if we don't make that decision as El Salvador did, it will be very difficult to concretize further actions," she said, adding that her style was to create laws that "anticipate the future" rather than simply fix the past.

Kempis has been tilting toward Bitcoin for some time. Following El Salvador President Nayib Bukele's announcement that Bitcoin would be adopted as legal tender in his country, the congresswoman was one of a group of politicians who put laser eyes on their profile pictures to emphasize pro-cryptocurrency views.

Since then, she has been working on a proposal for a crypto-friendly legal framework.

But it's not all roses on the road to making Mexico a crypto-nation.

In October, Mexico President Andrés Manuel López Obrador clearly stated in a press conference that his administration is not interested in adopting Bitcoin as a means of payment—much less declaring it legal tender. He is instead focused on strengthening the country's financial system by fighting tax evasion.

"We think that we must maintain orthodoxy in the management of finances (and) not try to innovate too much in financial management," he said.

López Obrador's term ends in 2024, meaning Kempis' initiative will likely have to wait at least two years. Even if that weren't the case, Kempis would still face long odds, as she's a member of just the third-largest opposition party, Movimiento Ciudadano. It would take strong support beyond the senator's own party for the law to go forward.

Want to be a crypto expert? Get the best of Decrypt straight to your inbox.

Get the biggest crypto news stories + weekly roundups and more!