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20 May 2022

Panama President Will Not Be Signing a Crypto Bill Right Now

Panama President, Laurentino Cortizo, has stated that he will not sign off on a cryptocurrency bill just adopted by the country’s National Assembly until further anti-money laundering rules are enacted.

Cortizo said on Wednesday at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America conference that the measure just approved by Panama’s legislature must go through legal procedures before reaching his desk, but that he wanted more information before potentially signing it into law.

The president described the legislation as innovative and outstanding and said he approved of certain portions of it but hinted at potential illegal uses of cryptocurrency that needed to be handled.

Panama’s “Crypto Law” was approved by the National Assembly on April 28 after a third discussion. The law was intended to regulate the trade and use of crypto assets, the issue of digital value, the tokenization of precious metals and other assets, payment systems, and other regulations, according to the parliamentary body.

Unlike El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law, which obliged local companies to accept Bitcoin, the Panama Crypto Law, if approved, would most likely allow people and businesses to use and accept cryptocurrency. Many firms would not require a special license to take cryptocurrency, according to an early draft of the law.

Gabriel Silva, a pro-crypto politician, has claimed that passing the Crypto Law will help develop financial inclusion in Panama and offer more job prospects.

Nevertheless, expert Ernesto Bazán has called on President Cortizo to veto the law, stating that the country’s lack of clear rules is unlikely to inspire faith in cryptocurrencies, putting banks’ and the local economy’s financial stability in danger.

According to Bazán, it is critical to have skilled specialists, supervision competence, and sufficient, especially in such a fresh and specialized field. Weak regulation would allow for more fraud, hacking, and criminal activity, implying a loss of trust in the country and its International Banking Center.

He also stated that they are awaiting the law’s veto and that a thorough investigation of the hazards that this rule entails be conducted. For the benefit of the country.

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