The government seeks to cover this deficit through partnerships that will allow training to young people. Despite the shortage of developers, some projects are struggling to emerge.

Some initiatives have shown the potential of Panama for developing business plans and financial ideas. However, there is a shortage of developers and qualified labor in the area of blockchain technology, which highlights the need for education.

Regarding education about cryptocurrencies in Panama, it is impossible not to mention the current Secretary-General of the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Blockchain, Rodrigo Icaza. This young man’s interest in crypto assets led him to study at the University of Nicosia and to write the book Learning to Use Bitcoin.

Icaza explains that the lack of local labor in this area has led the government to work on initiatives through alliances with Latin American organizations. The objective is to prepare young people, especially university students so that they will train the first community of blockchain developers.

The Panamanian official adds that, despite the shortage of developers, some projects are struggling to emerge. For example, the government is interested in promoting a blockchain-based project to conduct procedures. He says that manufacturing and agribusiness companies should use it to register in the National Industry Registry (RIN).

Tasks to Be Developed

Even though Panama is recognized as a financial, banking and logistical reference, it has not yet been able to establish itself as a cryptocurrency business center. According to Icaza, the fact that Panama does not have a Central Bank forces it to depend exclusively on the USA and its correspondent banks.

The official explains that the scenario in Panama is different from that of the region since it has a financial and banking orientation. According to the current model, cryptocurrencies are not an option to operate. Besides, the correspondent bank will close an account unilaterally if it discovers that someone is operating a business with cryptocurrencies.

Icaza believes that all the stakeholders and those involved in the development of the cryptocurrency sector should work on establishing a collective approach. He says that there will be concrete achievements in the short term as Panama is still a virgin territory for the crypto asset industry.

Strengthening through Education

Four years ago, a small group of Bitcoin connoisseurs undertook an educational process around the pioneering cryptocurrency. According to Icaza, Bitcoin was the victim of news on pyramid schemes involving the use of crypto assets, since several of these fraudulent businesses were promoted in Panama.

The national scandal over the Ponzi scheme OneCoin, as well as his interest in the subject, led Icaza to conduct his research. This led him to take the online course on Digital Currencies offered by the University of Nicosia. After that, he became part of the first community that shared diverse perspectives on the use of cryptocurrencies.

To promote Panama’s technological development, the government created the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Blockchain. This non-profit organization, which is headed by Rodrigo Icaza, is aimed at identifying and promoting local talent to ensure development.

Icaza considers the collaborative and joint working agreement that the Chamber of Commerce signed with the National Authority for Government Innovation (AIG) to be an achievement. Through this, the government has included training programs with local actors, among whom are even public officials.

By Alexander Salazar


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