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Panama Passes Crypto Regulation Bill to Boost Innovation

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by Kofi Ansah · 3 min read
Panama Passes Crypto Regulation Bill to Boost Innovation
Photo: Unsplash

If the proposal is signed into law by the president, citizens of Panama will be able to buy goods and services with cryptocurrencies at any legally operated civil or commercial business. 

The government of Panama has approved a bill regulating the use of crypto assets in the country. The crypto law, passed by the country’s legislature, is now pending the signature of the Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo before it comes into force.

The “Crypto Law” states that it “regulates the trading and use of crypto-assets, the issuance of digital value, tokenization of precious metals and other assets, payment systems and other provisions.”

The law also formally recognizes DAOs as legal entities and sets the framework for the country to issue tokenized securities and commodities, like gold and silver, via security token offerings (STOs).

If the proposal is signed into law by the president, citizens of Panama will be able to buy goods and services with cryptocurrencies at any legally operated civil or commercial business.

Gabriel Silva, a member of the National Assembly and one of the lawmakers promoting the bill, told reporters that citizens can also make tax payments and duties to the government in crypto if the bill is passed. Silva added that the proposed bill will also help propel the country to one of the crypto innovative destinations in Latin America.

“This bill seeks for Panama to become a hub of technology innovation in Latin America. Today I can go and pay for something to a merchant, and if the merchant wants to accept crypto, it’s allowed, it’s legal. Until today, that didn’t exist in Panama. We are making it happen, “he stated in an interview.

Silva also revealed that over 50% of Panamanians were unbanked and the Crypto Law would help them.

Silva again told reporters that this project goes beyond just regulating individual currencies and tokens but also aims to provide a broader scope than El Salvador’s bitcoin as a legal tender measure that was passed in September.

A translated version of the project stated that “the law aims to promote the use of distributed ledger technology and blockchain in the digitalization of the identity of natural and legal persons in or from the Republic of Panama and as a means to make the public function transparent.”

The government of the Latin American country stated that the next step of the project will be to release a full list of acceptable cryptocurrencies, but for now, the law highlights Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, and Stellar, amongst others.

The new bill will however be different from that of El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law which states that a business must accept Bitcoin if it has the technological means to do so, after making the digital coin a legal tender in the country in September last year.

The Panamanian government will leave that option to the business community to decide.

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Kofi Ansah
Author Kofi Ansah

Crypto fanatic, writer and researcher. Thinks that Blockchain is second to a digital camera on the list of greatest inventions.

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