Panama votes to legalize crypto: Bill sent to the president for approval 

Key Takeaways:

  • Panama has become the latest country to pass a law legalizing cryptocurrencies.
  • According to Congressman Gabriel Silva, who authored the bill, the law will help bring political transparency .
  • Unlike in El Salvador and The Central African Republic, the Bitcoin (BTC) will not be a legal tender in Panama.
Panama has become the latest country to pass a legislation in the national assembly legalizing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC).
Lawmakers in Panama passed legislation legalizing cryptocurrencies in the country. Credit: Asamblea Nacional

YEREVAN (CoinChapter.com) – Lawmakers in Panama have unanimously approved legislation to regulate cryptocurrencies like the Bitcoin (BTC) in the country.

The Central American country bordering Costa Rica and Colombia is the latest among nations taking a softer approach to crypto. Earlier this week, The Central African Republic followed the lead of El Salvador to make Bitcoin a legal tender. Meanwhile, Panama’s parliament has sent the bill to president Laurentino Cortizo for approval. 

The new legislation, called Project Law No 697, regulates the commercialization and use of cryptocurrencies and the issuance of digital assets. In addition, it also dictates other provisions, such as the tokenization of precious metals and the use of crypto in payment systems, among other things. The national assembly passed the bill in its third and final reading. 

The official handle of the country’s National Assembly shared the news on Twitter.

Over 50% of the citizens in Panama do not have a bank account. Therefore, lawmakers expect the legalization of cryptocurrencies to foster the financial inclusion of Panamanians. 

However, despite the legalization, legislators have no intention of making Bitcoin (BTC) a legal tender in the country, just as El Salvador or the Central African Republic have done.

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Panama wants to become a technology hub via crypto

In an interview with the local Eco Tv, Congressman Gabriel Silva celebrated the National Assembly’s decision on cryptos. According to the lawmaker, the law, once approved, will put the country on the map of technological advancement.

“This bill seeks to make Panama into a hub of innovation in Latin America. This is a step forward that seeks to mobilize the economy and create jobs,” 

Silva said. 

Gabriel Silva has every reason to celebrate. He introduced the bill in parliament on 6 September 2021. His proposal did not change, showing the unanimous support it received among lawmakers.

Last year Silva had argued to make Panama a country compatible with blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet. To him, the crypto bill would also help bring transparency to the country’s politics.

“This (the crypto law) has the potential to create thousands of jobs, attract investment and make the government transparent,” 

he claimed. 

The Latin American nation has a territorial tax system. Under this policy, the Government collects tax from residents and non-residents only on Panama-sourced income. Therefore, any income that does not arise in Panama is not subject to tax.

This territorial tax system will also apply to Bitcoin (BTC). As a result, traders will not pay any capital gains tax on most income generated through the crypto trade.

Once it receives the approval of the country’s President Laurentino Cortizo, the law will make Panama an attractive location for crypto professionals.

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Panama, Panama votes to legalize crypto: Bill sent to the president for approval 

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