The Republic of Panama has put forward a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies in a bid to make the country compatible with the blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet.
Panamanian crypto-friendly congressman Gabriel Silva announced the news via Twitter stressing that the new initiative has the potential to create thousands of jobs and new investment opportunities, as well as make the government more accountable.
The draft bill aims to recognize crypto assets like Bitcoin as an alternative global payment method for “any civil or commercial operation not prohibited by the legal system of the Republic of Panama.”The authors of the bill argued that cryptocurrencies give room for fast and low-cost payments, allowing them to process financial transactions “regardless of the distance between parties and the transaction volume.”
The move trails El Salvador’s decision to make Bitcoin legal tender. However, in contrast to El Salvador’s Bitcoin law, which requires businesses to accept Bitcoin as means of payment alongside the U.S. dollar, Panama’s new legislation, if enacted, will not make acceptance of cryptocurrencies mandatory. Rather citizens and businesses will be free to choose whether they want to accept crypto or fiat as payment. Panamanians will be able to pay taxes, fees, and other tax obligations using cryptocurrency just like Salvadorians.