Policy & Regulation

Panama introduces a bill to recognize Bitcoin and Ether as payment methods

  • The Republic of Panama introduced a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies and accept them as a payment method
  • Panama's new crypto law does not intend to force Bitcoin acceptance but aims to create the freedom to use cryptocurrencies
  • Because of El Salvador's decision to accept Bitcoin as an official currency, other countries have also entered the crypto industry

A new bill in Panama aims to recognize Bitcoin as an alternative payment method and allow the free use of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin will be recognized as an alternative global payment method

On Monday, the Republic of Panama introduced a bill to regulate cryptocurrencies in order to make the country “compatible with the blockchain, crypto assets, and the internet.” Panamanian congressman Gabriel Silva, who is a supporter of cryptocurrencies, announced the news on Twitter, stressing that the new legal initiative has the potential to create thousands of jobs, open up new investment sources, and make the government “more transparent.”

According to the draft law shared by Silva, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin will be recognized as an alternative global payment method for “any civil or commercial transaction not prohibited by the legal system of the Republic of Panama.” The authors of the bill emphasize that cryptocurrencies allow for fast and low-cost payments, allowing them to finalize a financial transaction to be completed”regardless of the distance between parties and the transaction volume.”

Panama is taking a different route than El Salvador

Unlike the government of El Salvador, which has required local businesses to accept Bitcoin in exchange for goods or services alongside the U.S. dollar, Panama’s new crypto law does not intend to force Bitcoin acceptance. Instead, the law aims to create the freedom to use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether in Panama.

Because of El Salvador’s decision to accept Bitcoin as an official currency, other countries have also entered the crypto industry. In late August, a company in Honduras reportedly installed the first Bitcoin ATM, which allows users to buy BTC and ETH with the local fiat currency, Lempira, and politicians in Paraguay are also positive about regulating and accepting cryptocurrencies. Eduardo Murat Hinojosa, a Mexican lawmaker in the federal government, announced in a tweet that he would promote and propose a legal framework for cryptocurrencies earlier this year.

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