Panama Introduces Bill to Legalize Bitcoin, Ethereum

If passed, the bill will allow citizens to pay taxes with cryptocurrency.

Central American lawmakers are bullish on the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies as Panama became the second country in the region to move a bill in parliament, seeking legal status for Bitcoin and Ethereum.

The country’s lawmakers introduced the bill on September 6 that aims to regulate cryptocurrencies in the country. According to the draft law, the country wants to become ‘compatible with blockchain, crypto assets and the internet.’

Pro-Crypto Central American Countries 

Panama’s move came the day before El Salvador legalized Bitcoin, making it a legal tender. However, Panama’s draft laws are very different from El Salvador’s, which makes the adoption of Bitcoin mandatory.

While El Salvadorian businesses must accept payments in Bitcoin, they can opt for government infrastructure to change the Bitcoin into fiat instantly. Thus, Panama will give the choice to its citizens.

But, the most highlighted part in Panama’s crypto draft bill is that the country will allow its citizens to pay taxes in cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This can be seen as the most important validation as the government itself is willing to accept digital currencies.

According to a tweet by Panamanian pro-crypto lawmaker, Gabriel Silva, the proposed laws have the potential to help the country create thousands of jobs and stressed that it has the potential to create new investment opportunities. 

He added that, if passed, the laws will recognize Bitcoin as an alternative global payment method for ‘any civil or commercial operation not prohibited by the legal system of the Republic of Panama’. Moreover, he thinks that the crypto laws will make the government more transparent.

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Other Central American countries are taking an interest in legalizing cryptocurrencies. Honduras, which is a neighboring country to El Salvador, recently installed its first Bitcoin ATM, enabling citizens to purchase cryptocurrencies using local fiat.

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