In the News from Panama

Panama Crypto Bill Attracts International Attention

A proposed law that would normalize the use of cryptocurrencies in Panama continues to generate interest around the world. The move to make bitcoin a legal tender would put Panama Real Estate at the forefront of the international movement and make it easier to use bitcoin for a variety of transactions, including real estate purchases.

In a recent interview with Bitcoin Magazine, the legislation’s two key authors, legislator Gabriel Silva and businessman Felipe Echandi, explained their goals and progress in gathering support for the bill.

“This project… has the potential to pick up the people who don’t have bank accounts or access to financial services and help them participate in the 21st-century economy, get involved, and progress,” Silva said. “That’s the human side of this initiative. This isn’t just about making lots of money, but getting people involved.”

Among other issues, they addressed the differences between El Salvador’s much-discussed push to adopt bitcoin as an official currency and the proposed Panama Law.

“El Salvador, we think, is a massive push toward Bitcoin adoption specifically, because it mandated adoption of bitcoin as legal tender,” Enchandi said. “In Panama, that would be unconstitutional. We can’t force anyone to take a specific currency because we have monetary freedom established in the constitution.”

The overall goal is to make Panama a leader in the digital economy, with crypto a key part of the equation. But they are not pushing for the use of bitcoin and other digital currencies.

“What we want to do here in Panama is create an open space to innovate in the crypto and digital economy,” Enchandi said. “We believe adoption will come on its own.”

The bill still needs to go through many layers of review before going to a formal vote. But it does seem to be gathering momentum, as many political leaders recognize the advantage of making bitcoin part of the economy.

“We want people who deal with crypto to feel safe here, to provide a location that is open to the cutting edge of the internet,” Silva said. “Second, if you’re creating a platform that is decentralized and taking custody of funds, the rules should be clear for you and they should be competitive.”

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