Mexican Billionaire Bullish on Banks Adopting Bitcoin

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In Brief
  • Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego recommends the use of bitcoin and said his bank is working to become the first in Mexico to accept it.

  • Salinas said this in reply to MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor sharing a video of the Mexican billionaire advocating for bitcoin.

  • Salinas joins Saylor among billionaire’s betting on bitcoin as a hedge against inflation.

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Mexican billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego recommends the use of bitcoin and said that the bank he owns is working to become the first in Mexico to accept it.

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“Sure, I recommend the use of bitcoin, and me and my bank are working to be the first bank in Mexico to accept Bitcoin,” Salinas said. This was his reply to MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who tweeted a video of Pliego advocating for bitcoin.

Salinas is Mexico’s third-richest man, with an estimated fortune of $15.8 billion, and the owner of Banco Azteca. Last year, he said 10% of his liquid portfolio was in bitcoin, adding that all investors should study cryptocurrency.

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Fiat currency concerns

In the video shared by Saylor, Salinas explains his fondness for bitcoin and expresses his belief that fiat currency is a “fraud.” After saying that he’d spent a lot of time studying bitcoin, he thinks it an asset that should be part of every investor’s portfolio. He highlighted that bitcoin had international value and is traded with “enormous liquidity” around the world. For him, these reasons enough are why it should be taken seriously.

However, he also noted bitcoin’s use as a hedge against inflation. He emphasized that bitcoin’s finite supply of 21 million was “the key part.” It was for this reason that he is not an advocate of Ethereum. He believes more could be issued and its value would depreciate.

This point of his becomes dramatically clear when he spoke of fiat currencies, which Salinas called a “fraud.” He remarks that when he started his career in 1981, the Mexican peso was 20:1 with the U.S. dollar. Today, he stressed that it has fallen all the way to 20,000:1. Salinas then pointed out how even this pales in comparison to the hyperinflation scenarios seen in Venezuela, Argentina, and Zimbabwe. He warns that this is currently happening in the U.S. “The monetary emission [sic] went to the moon,” he said, adding “the dollar as hard money is a joke.”

Saylor’s bitcoin bet

Meanwhile, even as the price of bitcoin is currently struggling, Saylor is tripling down on his company’s BTC investment strategy. Last week, MicroStrategy announced it now owns more than 100,000 bitcoins after completing another purchase round. The enterprise software company spent roughly $489 million on BTC but now owns over $3 billion worth of the cryptocurrency.

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Nick is a data scientist who teaches economics and communication in Budapest, Hungary, where he received a BA in Political Science and Economics and an MSc in Business Analytics from CEU. He has been writing about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology since 2018, and is intrigued by its potential economic and political usage. He can best be described as an optimistic center-left skeptic.

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