A bill to regulate the use and commercialisation of crypto assets in the Central American country renowned as a hub of offshore financial services, was approved by Lawmakers in Panama’s National Assembly on Thursday.
The bill opens the door to private and public use of crypto assets, and will make it possible for people to pay their taxes with cryptocurrencies. Experts warned it could heighten Panama’s reputation as a place lacking financial transparency.
The legislation is broader in scope than measures passed by El Salvador, which last year made bitcoin legal tender, said independent lawmaker and promoter of the bill Gabriel Silva.
“We’re seeing the emergence of many different types of crypto assets like works of art,” he said. “That’s why we didn’t want to limit ourselves only to cryptocurrencies.”
The bill covers the trading and use of crypto assets, issuance of digital securities, new payment systems and the tokenization of precious metals. Tokenization is when rights to an asset are converted into digital formats.
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.