The new Governor of the Bank of Mexico, Victoria Rodríguez Ceja, confirmed plans to release a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) during 2025.
A key question with any CBDC issuance is, what are the motivations? During a presentation to the Mexican senate, the Governor said the first goal of its CBDC will be financial inclusion. It also wants to provide more fast payments options and ensure the economy is efficient and interoperable. The Governor said she’s also keen to enable programmable money and promote innovation.
Some countries are driven to adopt CBDCs to head off the penetration of cryptocurrencies. While Mexico has an active cryptocurrency sector, Chainalysis ranked it 44th in terms of level of adoption of cryptocurrency. That’s on a par with the Netherlands, Spain and Germany.
Outside of blockchain and cryptocurrency, Governor Rodríguez Ceja said the central bank was progressing an update of its high value interbank payment system SPEI 2. The upgraded system will support foreign currency settlement, foreign exchange as payment versus payment, and real-time securities settlement or delivery versus payment.
It’s notable that a former Governor of the Bank of Mexico is Augustin Carstens, who currently heads the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which is helping to drive the global investigation of central bank digital currencies through its Innovation Hub.