Mexican Senator Indira Kempis made waves last year when she introduced legislation to create a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Now, she’s shifting her focus to make Bitcoin a central part of her political agenda. Kempis, a congresswoman from the state of Nuevo León in Mexico, initially had limited knowledge of Bitcoin. However, her involvement in helping a group that later became Bitso, the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, opened her eyes to the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the crypto space.
Mexican Senator Indira Kempis pushes her crypto-friendly bill
In order to address these challenges, the Mexican senator introduced a bill, initially centered on a CBDC, aimed at establishing a legal framework for acknowledging and accepting Bitcoin as legal tender. This pragmatic approach marked the first step in her journey toward a more crypto-friendly Mexico. In the early stages, her bill faced little opposition because, as Kempis noted, “nobody understood Bitcoin.” However, as the conversation around her bill evolved, it began attracting both positive and negative attention. She remains undeterred by detractors, recognizing that their opposition is a sign of progress.
The Mexican senator is eager to gauge where her fellow legislators stand on the bill. She envisions creating a heat map illustrating their positions to inform the Mexican public about their representatives’ interest in this innovative financial space. Mexico is known for its thriving tech industry, pioneering fintech laws, and a population that embraces technology. Chainalysis reports indicate that Mexicans have access to a wide range of cryptocurrency products, and digital wallets are now available in indigenous languages spoken by 6% of the population. Remittances are also on the rise, with a nearly 10% YoY increase.
Mexico’s long road to crypto regulation
While the bill is under discussion, it still has a long road ahead. The Mexican Central Bank plays a significant role in the legislative process, despite claiming autonomy. The Mexican Senate has requested a formal analysis and stance from the institution, which has yet to arrive. The Mexican senator highlighted the changing dynamics within the central bank. The former head was a staunch critic of Bitcoin, while the current governor, Victoria Rodríguez, has largely remained silent on Bitcoin-related discussions. However, not all politicians are on board with the idea.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) made it clear that Mexico would not adopt Bitcoin as legal tender following El Salvador’s groundbreaking Bitcoin law. Despite these challenges, the senator believes that the digital peso, a project pursued by the financial institution, will likely debut in 2024. Kempis has also announced her candidacy for the 2024 presidential election. She intends to continue her advocacy for Bitcoin, whether or not she becomes president. She views the role of the legislative branch as providing education and pushing forward discussions through well-crafted laws and regulations, drawing inspiration from El Salvador’s successful adoption of Bitcoin.