Regulation is key to the growth of the industry without obstacles that hinder its development. Parliament will discuss four initiatives to regulate Bitcoin and digital mining.

The interest in regulating Bitcoin (BTC) has led the Assembly of Panama to introduce four bills. The civil society proposed two of them while two deputies submitted the other two.

Janice Becerra and Rodrigo Icaza are members of the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Blockchain of Panama. They said the country seeks to regulate cryptocurrencies to allow the industry to grow without obstacles that hinder its sustainable development.

Becerra adds that it is necessary to accept Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as part of a digital world and evolve alongside them.

The lawyer founded the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Blockchain (CCDB), a non-profit organization operating for seven years. They care about education, the organization of activities, and programs that encourage adopting the blockchain system.

As an advisor to the top office of the Government Innovation Authority of Panama, Becerra focuses on the educational aspect. She believes that knowing the technical aspects of the regulated object will make it possible to provide a clear legal framework on new trends.

Parliament Discusses Four Bills to Regulate Bitcoin

Currently, four bills in the National Assembly of Panama are awaiting the three mandatory discussions.

Isaza believes that the State should promote alternatives for people to make fiat exchanges when sending or receiving payments. Similarly, Becerra believes that economic agents must accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method.

According to the lawyer, each cryptocurrency has a specific use, so not all are viable means of payment. In this regard, Icaza added that some Panamanian citizens disapprove of the 047 initiative as it mentions cryptocurrencies such as Dogecoin.

Deputy Cenobia Vargas presented another bill to regulate cryptocurrencies before the Assembly of Panama. Icaza commented that the problem is that it adapts Bitcoin technology to the traditional financial system, but not the other way around.

Additionally, Becerra believes that the proposal by Vargas focuses on taxes. For that reason, the deputy proposes to issue a license to cryptocurrency service operators with a single fee of USD 10,000.

Recently, Congressman Gabriel Silva introduced the fourth bill to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in that country. The document seeks that there is certainty and legal security for those assets in Panama.

According to Silva, the approval of the regulatory law on crypto assets would promote financial inclusion. Only 46.5% of the Panamanian population has transactional bank accounts. That is lower than the regional average of 54.4% and well below the global average of 68%.

Panama Wants to Regulate Bitcoin to Get Off Blacklists

Following the Panama Papers scandal, France included Panama on its blacklist of tax havens in 2016. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recently put the country on the gray list.

In this regard, Janice Becerra notes that local banks have lost their international correspondents. That has limited international transactions, which harms trade and negatively impacts the local financial system.

The lawyer adds that Panama needs to get off the blacklists that label it a tax haven. That is especially true now when there is a lot of interest in regulating cryptocurrencies.

By Alexander Salazar


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