The Panama National Assembly formally approved new legislation regulating cryptocurrencies this week, a major step forward in making bitcoin and other currencies a tangible option for buying property in Panama.
Under terms of the new bill, crypto would be allowed for private and public use. It would also allow people to pay their taxes with cryptocurrencies. The bill will now advance to President Laurentino Cortizo for approval.
“This will help Panama become a hub of innovation and technology in Latin America,” bill supporter Gabriel Silva tweeted. “[The] only thing missing is for the President to sign it. Thank you to all who helped. This will help create jobs and financial inclusion.”
At Punta Pacifica Realty, we’ve seen a steady increase in interest from our clients in using cryptocurrency for transactions. In the last year, it has skyrocketed, as Panama City property is seen as a natural asset for diversifying portfolios.
The new bill covers the trading and use of crypto assets, issuance of digital securities, new payment systems, and the tokenization of precious metals, according to Reuters coverage. “Tokenization” is when assets are converted into digital formats, such as NFTs, which gives the bill a broader scope than other regional initiatives.
“We’re seeing the emergence of many different types of crypto assets like works of art,” said bill sponsor Gabriel Silva. “That’s why we didn’t want to limit ourselves only to cryptocurrencies.”
Under the new legislation, Panamanians may use crypto assets as means of payment for any civil or commercial operation not prohibited by law in the country. It will also remove barriers in the banking system for including crypto in financial services.
Silva says the bill will give “legal stability to crypto assets in Panama [and] develop the crypto industry in the country to attract more investments and generate more employment.” The new bill will also allow blockchain technology to be used by the Panamanian government “to increase transparency and efficiency in procedures.”