Panama president pushes back on bitcoin adoption

Panama president pushes back on bitcoin adoption

Despite being approved by the Panamanian national assembly only a couple of months ago, the path to bitcoin adoption has ground to a halt after President Laurentino Cortizo said that he would not give the go-ahead until the proposal contained proper money laundering and other illicit financing controls. 

After the adoption of bitcoin by El Salvador last year, it looked as though Panama was on course to follow its Central American neighbour, and make bitcoin a legal currency in the country.

However, according to a Spanish language article in a local ePaper published today, President Laurentino Cortizo has “partially vetoed” Law Project 697, stating that the proposal must comply with the existing monetary model. He affirmed:

“it is imperative to conform the new regulation with the GAFI (International Financial Action Group) recommendations, so that it follows the state-defined path as regards fiscal transparency and anti-money laundering,”

Not all national assembly members were happy with the president putting the brakes on bitcoin adoption. Independent deputy Gabriel Silva, called it a “lost opportunity”. He tweeted:

“The president has just partially vetoed the Crypto Law proposal.

Another lost opportunity to generate employment, attract investment, and incorporate technology and innovation into the public sector.

The country deserves more opportunities and also financial inclusion.

If the proposal eventually passes into law, it will be broader than that of El Salvador, in that it will allow for the “tokenization” of precious metals and other assets, the identity digitization of the Panamanian population, and for anyone to freely transact in bitcoin and ethereum as a means of payment, without any limitations.

Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It is not offered or intended to be used as legal, tax, investment, financial, or other advice.

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