The MP architect of a draft Panamanian private member’s bill that proposes allowing the use of crypto as a form of payment has claimed that there are key differences between his proposed law and the Bitcoin Law adopted in El Salvador last year. The legislator, W. Barringer from the ruling Panameñista Party says that his draft law is not intended to legalize or prohibit cryptocurrencies in Panama but rather to regulate them.
Panama’s proposed crypto bill would allow citizens and companies to invest in cryptocurrencies and use them as a form of payment while also placing an obligation on businesses to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. The bill also proposes the creation of a “cryptocurrency ombudsman” to act as a mediator between businesses and consumers in cases of disputes relating to crypto transactions.
The Salvadoran legislation ensured bitcoin (BTC) had the same legal tender status alongside the likes of fiat USD, but stipulates that merchants may not reject a BTC payment if a customer requests to pay in the crypto asset. It also promoted the use of its own state-run BTC wallet and app.
The Central American nation’s move to pass such a law made it the first country in the world to recognize BTC as legal tender.
Per Radio Panama, Gabriel Silva, the 32-year-old independent Panamanian congressman who created the bill, the above would not apply if his bill became law, and the door would be open for other tokens, not only BTC.
The bill, named “Crypto Law: Cryptocurrencies and Related Digital Assets,” seeks to regulate the issuance of cryptocurrencies and establish a framework for their circulation.
While Silva is confident that his bill will pass in August, he says that some parts may still be tweaked by lawmakers before it becomes law. One such area is whether to allow merchants to refuse BTC payments by customers if they so desire.
The proposed crypto legislation gives legal status to crypto assets as property while regulating civil rights associated with ownership of these digital assets, like issuing licenses for projects involving them and requiring exchanges rendering services on this market to register with the local regulator within six months of the bill coming into force.It also helps prevent money laundering through taxation on mining income and declares Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) illegal.
With the rise of cryptocurrency in recent years, many countries around the world are starting to take action and pass legislation regarding this new form of digital currency. One such country is Panama, which recently introduced a draft crypto law that would give legal status to cryptocurrencies and set out regulations for exchanges operating in the market.
The proposed crypto law establishes a number of important provisions that aim to protect consumers while also providing clear guidelines for businesses operating within the digital currency space. For example, it protects consumers by ensuring that merchants are not allowed to refuse payment in cryptocurrencies if their customers wish to use them, and it prevents money laundering through taxation on mining income and a ban on ICOs.