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Policy & Regulation

Panama President refuses to sign crypto bill into law: Here’s why

19 May 2022 : 11:24
2 min read
  • The President of Panama has refused to sign the proposed crypto bill
  • The bill was passed by the National Assembly of Panama with a 40-0 majority
  • President Laurentino Cortizo believes that the bill lacks strict AML laws

The President of Panama has refused to sign the crypto bill, which was recently passed by the National Assembly of Panama or the Asamblea Nacional de Panamá, with a 40-0 majority. The President cited the lack of certain points for not signing the bill and has asked the lawmakers to revise the same. 

Crypto regulation delayed in Panama 

The crypto bill was passed by the national assembly in April, and there were plans to regulate cryptocurrencies in the Central American nation. The bill was proposed by Deputies Cenobia Vargas and Gabriel Silva. As per a report from Bloomberg, President Laurentino Cortizo of Panama has decided not to sign the bill. 

After approval from the National Assembly, the bill was sent to the executive, where Cortizo has to authority to sign the bill or veto it in part or whole. The President of Panama decided not to go ahead with said regulations because of the lack of strict anti-money laundering provisions.

“I will not sign that law if I am going to answer you right now with the facts that I have, which is insufficient,” Cortizo said at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America conference in Panama City. “If the law contains money laundering provisions, I must exercise extreme caution.” We place a high value on anti-money laundering efforts.”

An innovative law?

The President’s lawyers are currently going over other provisions of the bill, and Cortizo revealed that he would approve some sections of the bill while vetoing others. Cortizo believes that the bill in its current state is innovative but lacks strict AML laws.

“From what I’ve heard, it’s an innovative law, and it’s a good law,” he remarked. “However, we have a sound financial system here in Panama, and one of the things I’m looking forward to is when crypto-assets are regulated globally.”


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