Panama Moves Forward With Crypto Regulation Bill

Panama passes crypto legislation that is more robust than El Salvador’s digital asset measures, lawmaker says


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key takeaways

  • If Panama’s president approves the project, citizens will be able to use crypto for everyday purchases and tax payments
  • The law aims to promote “the use of distributed ledger technology” in government to improve transparency

Panama became the latest country to move forward with cryptocurrency legislation Thursday when the National Assembly passed a bill that will allow for private and public use of digital assets.

If the proposal is signed into law by Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, citizens will also be able to pay taxes using cryptocurrencies, the National Assembly said.  

“This bill seeks for Panama to become a hub of technology innovation in Latin America,” Gabriel Silva, a member of the National Assembly and one of the lawmakers promoting the bill, said during a local news interview Thursday. 

The project, if passed, will allow Panamanian to buy goods and services in cryptocurrencies at any legally operated civil or commercial business.

The project goes beyond regulating individual tokens, Silva said, aiming to provide a broader scope than El Salvador’s bitcoin as legal tender measure that was passed in September. 

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,” a translated version of the project read.

The news comes a day after the Central African Republic became the second country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. The African nation has also been working on creating a legal framework around the use of cryptocurrencies that will focus on defining how citizens can interact with digital assets, Finance Minister Herve Ndoba said, according to a Bloomberg report.

Nboda added that the Central African Republic is not trying to mimic El Salvador, which became the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021.

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