Mexico’s central bank will have its own digital currency by 2024, the Mexican government announced on social media, although the development was not confirmed by the monetary authority, known locally as Banxico.
This development is likely to happen towards 2024, putting the country on the list of nations studying, or planning to release, their own central bank digital currency (CBDC).
"Banxico reports that by 2024 it will have its own digital currency in circulation, considering these new technologies and the next-generation payment infrastructure are extremely important as options of great value to advance financial inclusion in the country," the government tweeted.
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However, an anonymous senior central bank source told Reuters last week the government announcement was “not official".
Neither Banxico nor the Mexican government replied to Reuters' requests for comment.
In a report published on December 17, Banxico said it was, "working on the study and development of a platform aimed at the implementation of a digital currency”, but it gave no details on timing.
“The project has among its objectives the opening of accounts for the registration of a digital currency for both banked and unbanked people, thereby contributing to financial inclusion,” the report added.
So far, Ecuador, Senegal, Singapore, Tunisia, Estonia, Japan, Palestine, Russia and Sweden have launched their own digital currencies.
China is also moving closer to its own launch of a digital currency.
According to the South China Morning Post, the country launched a second trial of electronic cash with more than $3 million worth of e-yuan distributed among 100,000 residents in the tech hub of Shenzhen.
The residents have until 17 January to use a phone app to spend the digital cash at selected stores and on some online platforms.
Several more central banks worldwide are exploring the launch of digital currencies, concerned that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin could weaken government control of monetary policy.
These include Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Cambodia. These countries have also announced they are looking at introducing digital currencies in the near future.