President of Panama Refuses to Sign the Cryptocurrency Bill


The relevance of cryptocurrencies and digital assets is increasing in the global economic structure. Therefore, almost every country is exploring new ways to inculcate crypto in its financial ecosystem. As a result, developing nations, like Panama, have shown more interest in cryptocurrencies at a state level. Even though the integration of crypto in traditional economies is not easy, it is still worth giving a shot. Crypto offers financial independence and freedom to many states that are facing inflation and economic complications.

These developing countries are in search of a financial boost, and they believe crypto has the tendency to provide them that support. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Crypto has always been criticized for having the ability to facilitate money laundering and terror financing. It is something that has stopped various states from developing a crypto-friendly structure. A somewhat similar phenomenon was recently observed in Panama.

Panama’s President moves against the National Assembly Bill

Panama was gradually reaching new milestones in developing a crypto-friendly attitude. However, its crypto journey seems to be at a halt after President Laurentino Cortizo refuses to sign the crypto bill. This bill was recently approved by the country’s National Assembly. However, the President says that the bill will not go ahead without extensive Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and regulations.

The President expressed his resentment towards the bill while talking at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America Conference. He stated that the bill has to overcome regulatory checks and legal complications to ask for the President’s approval. Furthermore, he also said that he needs more knowledge about the concept before approving the use of crypto in the country’s legislative structure.

President Cortizo praised the bill and used terms like innovative and good to address. He appreciated certain elements of the bill. However, he did not hold back in saying that there are several possible misuses of crypto that should be addressed before making this bill a legislative part of the country. Nonetheless, the President states that countering money laundering and addressing these issues in the crypto bill is very critical for the country.

Cryptocurrency bill of Panama to regulate use and trading of crypto assets

Recently, the National Assembly of Panama passed a crypto bill after a series of debates at the Assembly forum. The third debate over the bill was held on April 28. In its true essence, the bill was meant to regulate the trading and use of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin. It would also address topics like tokenization, issuance of digital value, digital payments, and other such concepts that are associated with cryptocurrencies.

The bill was not entirely similar to the Bitcoin Law of El Salvador. Businesses in El Salvador were forced to accept BTC as a payment mode. But on the other hand, people and businesses in Panama were supposed to have the liberty of accepting cryptocurrency or not. Also, the bill did not set the requirement of a special license for businesses to accept cryptocurrency payments or transactions. Finance experts in Panama had expressed mixed feelings over the bill. Many believed that the bill would boost the country’s economy while making it more financially inclusive. Alongside this, the acceptance of crypto will give more employment and investment opportunities to people.

But on the other hand, there was a different set of beliefs as well. Several economists stated their disliking of the bill. They argued that the lack of regulation will cause more disruption in the financial setup at the state level. Moreover, they said that it would lead to more financial instability and irregularity. Many experts believe that weaker regulations would pave the way for criminal activities and malicious activities in the crypto space. Therefore, people might suffer from fraudulent activities and hacking attempts.

Nonetheless, the crypto bill is waiting for the approval or veto of the President. The fate of the bill will be decided by the President. The decision will be a major determinant for the future of cryptocurrencies and digital assets in Panama. The crypto community of Panama is currently waiting for the decision to evaluate its strategies.

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