The price of Bitcoin spiked when billionaire Ricardo Salinas Pliego said that his bank was striving to become the first in Mexico to accept the cryptocurrency.
According to CoinDesk, the price of bitcoin increased to $34,805.19 on Monday, up 8% from where it was at 5 p.m. on Friday. Since hitting an all-time high of around $63,381.20 in mid-April, during a surge of speculation fueled by celebrities like Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk, the digital currency has lost over half of its value.
Over the weekend, Mr. Salinas Pliego tweeted that he encourages the usage of bitcoin. He went on to say, “Me and my bank are trying to be the first bank in Mexico to accept #Bitcoin.”
He tweeted again in Spanish a few hours later, saying that the digital currency was a smart method for investors to diversify their assets. “Any investor, in my opinion, should begin studying cryptocurrencies and their prospects. We are striving to introduce these to our clients at @BancoAzteca,” he wrote on the post.
Banco Azteca SA representatives did not immediately reply to a request for more information or comment.
MicroStrategy CEO and bitcoin bull Michael Saylor had reacted favorably on a video of the Mexican businessman that had circulated on Twitter over the weekend, prompting Salinas’ response. In the video, Salinas explains why he believes “fiat is a hoax,” why he wants to keep bitcoin for the next 30 years, and how his theory was influenced by his experience seeing hyperinflation in the 1980s.
Mexico’s central bank is waging a ferocious war on inflation, raising interest rates to 4.25 percent last week as inflation rises above 6%.
According to Forbes, Salinas is the third richest person in Mexico, with a net worth of $15.8 billion. His corporation has a variety of retail and media enterprises in addition to the bank.
El Salvador declared a week ago that it will make bitcoin legal money later this year.
Because of their high rates of inflation and currency depreciation, bitcoiners frequently look to Latin American economies — notably those of Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil — as examples of markets that may profit from bitcoin as an alternative to their state currencies.