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Panama lawmakers voted for the bill, which primarily focuses on regulating “the commercialization and use of crypto assets”.
The President of Panama Laurentino Cortizo has refused to sign a crypto regulation bill until it contains stricter anti-laundering laws. This came after the nation’s National Assembly passed a bill calling for the regulation of crypto use last month. The bill was designed to easily allow crypto exchanges to obtain licenses for operation in Panama. Also, it targeted crypto transaction regulation. Now, the President of the country has shown that he is not in support of the move.
Panama President Is Not Endorsing Crypto Regulation Bill on Money Laundering Concerns
At the Bloomberg New Economic Gateway Latin America conference on May 18th, Cortizo said his negative response to the bill. The President has veto power over statements presented by the National Assembly in Panama. Meanwhile, Cortizo is keen on the bill tackling money laundering, after which it can get presidential approval. He added that his legal team would examine the bill to determine if it could fully or partially pass.
“I have to be very careful if the law has clauses related to money-laundering activities or anti-money laundering activities. That’s very important for us.”
In addition, he called for global crypto regulation and noted the importance of a united front regarding crypto use worldwide. Cortizo’s current reluctance to endorse a crypto regulation bill in Panama does not make the resident a crypto bear. He wants to ensure that the law incorporates reasonable anti-laundering regulations.
Meanwhile, Panama lawmakers voted for the bill, which primarily focuses on regulating “the commercialization and use of crypto assets.” A report on the National Assembly website explains:
“The norm that regulates the commercialization and use of cryptoactives, the issuance of digital value, the tokenization of precious metals and other goods and the payment systems will be feasible by the decision of the Legislative Body to approve it in the third debate.”
The proposal, which resulted from a collaborative initiative from deputies Cenobia Vargas and Gabriel Silva, suggests legal stability for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, it explicitly noted that the submission is not to make Bitcoin a means of payment. The deputies also mentioned that the National Bank of Panama should play a role in the entire development.
Crypto Regulations Distress
More often, crypto has been associated with many money laundering cases globally. In the US, SEC Chair Gary Gensler has consistently called for regulation fr crypto and crypto exchanges. The chairman recently sought an 8% budget boost to address crypto protection. The SEC head asked for a budget of $2.15 billion for the fiscal year 2023, which ends on June 30th. This represents an additional $240 million than he requested in the fiscal year 2022.
Governments worldwide are working on proper crypto regulation to protect consumers amid the general market fall.