Panama Moves Forward With Crypto Regulation Bill


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

Panama on Thursday became the latest country to move forward with cryptocurrency legislation when the National Assembly approved a bill that will allow the 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 saying.

“This bill seeks to turn Panama into a hub for technological innovation in Latin America,” said Gabriel Silva, a member of the National Assembly and one of the legislators behind the bill, during a local news interview Thursday.

The project, if approved, will allow Panamanians to purchase 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 reach than El Salvador’s bitcoin legal tender measure that was approved in September.

The law aims to promote “the use of distributed registry technology and blockchain in the digitization 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 draft read.

The news comes a day after the Central African Republic became the second country 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 imitate El Salvador, which became the first country adopt bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021.


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  • Casey Wagner

    blocks

    senior reporter

    Casey Wagner is a New York-based business journalist who covers regulation, legislation, digital asset investment firms, market structure, central banks and governments, and CBDCs. Before joining Blockworks, she reported on markets at Bloomberg News. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a bachelor’s degree in Media Studies. Contact Casey by email at [email protected]