On April 28th, 2022 Panama’s official National Assembly Twitter account tweeted that their Bitcoin and cryptocurrency proposal (Law No. 697) was approved by the assembly and will be presented to Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo. He will have the option to either veto the proposal or sign it into law.
The law specifies regulations for the commercialization and use of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, the issuance of digital value, the tokenization of precious metals and other goods, payment systems, and will dictate other provisions associated with digital assets. Due to the country’s territorial tax system, investments in Bitcoin will be exempt from capital gains.
Gabriel Silva is a member of the National Assembly and during an interview he stated that “This bill seeks for Panama to become a hub of technology innovation in Latin America.” He added that “This is a step forward that seeks to mobilize the economy and create jobs.”
The National Assembly aims to attract foreign investment if the bill is passed. With regulatory clarity, businesses and entrepreneurs in the region and internationally will be more incentivized to expand their services, relocate, and invest in Panama.
Silva states that over 50% of Panama’s citizens do not have a bank account and he hopes that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will become more accessible to the population after the bill is signed by the President. With more participation in the digital economy, tourism and other Bitcoin or cryptocurrency related businesses may provide more opportunities for local residents.
There is currently no confirmation on whether Panama intends to make Bitcoin legal tender in the same manner as El Salvador and the Central African Republic. This may be some of the first steps necessary in order to later assign Bitcoin as legal tender.