Although the president of Panama previously called the bills surrounding crypto and Bitcoin innovation, he has now decided to put a stop to the developments.

Laurentino Cortizo has vetoed bill number 697, the so-called “Crypto Bill”, and indicated that more work is needed. The president wants more attention to anti-money laundering rules before he can pass a crypto law.

‘Lost opportunity for Panama’

Not everyone is happy with President Cortizo’s decision. Congressman Gabriel Silva, who helped introduce the new law in September 2021, said on June 16 that the veto is a missed opportunity for Panama. “It is a missed opportunity to introduce new jobs, investment and innovative technology,” said Gabriel Silva of his president’s decision.

“The country needs more opportunities and this law had the potential to contribute to financial inclusiveness,” he wrote. However, according to Silva, Congress is not giving up and is looking for ways to amend the law in such a way that it can pass the president. If the law passes, Panama will become the second country in Central America to regulate crypto as legal tender.

Panama something different from El Salvador

The interesting thing about Panama is that, unlike El Salvador, they are taking an approach of rebranding more cryptocurrencies as legal tender. So besides Bitcoin, there are more cryptocurrencies that are caught by the law. Under the law, residents of Panama are “free to choose any cryptocurrency, including but not limited to Bitcoin and Ethereum as alternative means of payment.”

The new law also makes it possible to tokenize physical assets in Panama. Think, for example, of gold, silver and other commodities that can be traded via the blockchain. Potentially a very exciting law for the crypto industry, but for the time being it will not pass. If we are to believe Congressman Gabriel Silva, then Panama is not giving up and we may be able to expect more from the country.


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