Panama Introducing Legislation to Make Bitcoin Legal Tender

Panamanian Congressman Gabriel Silva has introduced a bill to regulate the use of digital currency within the nation. The proposed bill in Panama would recognize bitcoin as a national alternative payment method. 

The announcement was made via Twitter, where the Congressman said, “Today we present the Crypto Law. We seek to make Panama a country compatible with the blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet. This has the potential to create thousands of jobs, attract investment and make the government transparent.” 

The proposed bill is titled: “Crypto Law: Making Panama Compatible with the digital economy, blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet.” The document says that the new legislation is designed to recognize digital assets as an alternative global payment method. If passed, the bill would allow for any civil or commercial operation to utilize crypto who are not otherwise permitted from doing so. 

According to the draft bill, the proposed law has five specific objectives. The first objective is to expand the digitization of the state, individuals, and legal entities in the Republic of Panama to “make the public services transparent.” Providing legal, regulatory, and fiscal certainty to the use of digital assets is another objective the law has listed. The draft adds the creation of a regulatory framework is needed along with making the whole system compatible with “new forms of trust-building between people and businesses such as smart contracts and new forms of organization.” The final objective outlined is to promote universal access to all citizens and inhabitants of Panama. 

Panama on the heels of El Salvador

The move comes during a time of growing interest in cryptocurrency in Central America. The best example of this growing interest is the recent move by El Salvador to make bitcoin legal tender. 

However, the two countries have one major difference when it comes to tackling this issue. While El Salvador has chosen to force local businesses to accept bitcoin for goods or services rendered. Panama, meanwhile, will not make crypto mandatory. Panama will instead make accepting digital currency a free choice. Both nations, however, want to allow citizens to pay taxes, fees, and other governmental obligations using digital currency. 

Honduras is another Central American country that has recently shown interest in cryptocurrency. In late August, Honduras unveiled the country’s first bitcoin ATM in order to buy crypto with fiat currency. 

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