A legislator from Panama has introduced a bill to regulate cryptocurrency.

In Panama, an independent legislator has submitted a measure in the National Assembly that, if passed, will govern crypto assets and promote blockchain usage.


Panama's new bill intends to make the country "compatible with blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet," according to congressman Gabriel Silva, whose profile photo depicts the red laser beam eyes that are famous among bitcoin enthusiasts. Silva, who announced the suggestion on Twitter on September 6, is urging people to submit feedback and comments on his website.

In a video detailing the possible law, Silva says, "Our proposal is basic and seeks, first, to guarantee legal certainty and safety to digital assets in Panama—for example, cryptocurrencies." Furthermore, the law aspires to attract digitally-focused entrepreneurs, businesses, and investments that could lead to local job creation and lower-cost financial services. The idea also aims to allow citizens to pay taxes and fees using cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin and Ethereum are clearly mentioned as categories of crypto assets in the draft "crypto law."

The bill states that “natural persons residing in the Republic of Panama or legal entities organized in the Republic of Panama may freely agree to use crypto assets, including without limitation Bitcoin and Ethereum, as a means of payment for any civil or commercial operation not prohibited by the Republic of Panama's legal system,” according to the bill.

The launch of El Salvador's own bitcoin law and wallet, Chivo, has been a busy week for cryptocurrency advancements in Latin America and around the world. That country was the first to legalize bitcoin as a form of payment. While Panama is situated in Central America and uses the US dollar, the country's crypto law differs significantly.

For starters, Panama's law would include crypto assets and blockchain more widely, whereas El Salvador's is created just for bitcoin.

Panama's new law, according to explanatory materials Silva released on Twitter, will not oblige businesses to accept bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. El Salvador's law, on the other hand, stipulates that businesses must accept bitcoin as a form of payment, however it is unclear how broadly this would be enforced (those without access to the necessary technologies would be excluded from the mandate).

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