Lawmakers in Panama, the Latin American country with a reputation as a tax haven, have approved a bill that would regulate the use of Bitcoin and eight other cryptocurrencies and authorize their use for paying taxes and for private transactions.
A Panamanian lawmaker said on Twitter, that on Thursday that the country’s National Assembly had passed a law that will be presented to President Laurentino Cortizo to sign it.
A copy of the draft bill, shared by Silva on social media, said citizens, banks, and legal entities in Panama would be permitted to use several cryptocurrencies as all means of payment, without any limitation.
Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, XDC Network, Elrond, Stellar, IOTA and Algorand, are the cryptocurrencies accepted in Panama with the new legislation.
The currencies would be accepted as payment in both civil and commercial capacities, and tokenization of precious metals and other goods would also be permitted under the new law, according to the bill.
Panama’s adoption of the legislation would see it follow in the footsteps of El Salvador and the Central African Republic, with both countries having already approved Bitcoin as an official currency. In Panama, however, it won’t be obligatory to accept the cryptos, but won’t be implemented as legal tender.
The bill said Panama would launch an official digital wallet, similar to El Salvador’s Chivo app, to allow residents to make transactions of these new technologies in a safe way.
Silva said that blockchain technology and the decentralized platform that enables cryptocurrency transactions would be used by Panama’s government to enable faster, more efficient and transparent processes.
Using cryptocurrency will be optional for Panama’s citizens, the law would be regulated by a watchdog and all digital assets would be subject to Panama’s existing regulations on money laundering AML.