Panama President Mulls Crypto Bill Approval Due to Money Laundering Concerns


The president of Panama, Laurentino Cortizo, has declared he will not sign the recently approved cryptocurrency bill passed by the National Assembly of the country in its current form. Cortizo stated that one of his main concerns about the bill is the stance it takes regarding money laundering activities and crypto. Cortizo may approve some parts of the bill while vetoing others.

Panama’s President Considers Crypto Bill Veto

Laurentino Cortizo, the president of Panama, has announced his opinion regarding the recently approved cryptocurrency bill, and how it might be too lax when it comes to dealing with unlawful activities like money laundering in the sector. While speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America conference in Panama City, Cortizo stated:

If I’m going to answer you right now with the information that I have, which is not enough, I will not sign that law.

Furthermore, Cortizo explained that he and his government would have to be “very careful” if the crypto bill presented has clauses dealing with money laundering activities, remarking that these are very important to Panama.

Panama allows the president to have veto power over the bills presented by the National Assembly, and Cortizo could use this attribution to repel the bill in its current form. However, Cortizo declared he and his lawyers are still reviewing the law to make a decision.

Panama’s Crypto Law

Panama started its cryptocurrency regulation journey last year, when Gabriel Silva, a national representative, introduced a crypto bill with a proposal that aimed to modernize the country and bring it up to par with other countries in the area. The bill, which faced some changes during its discussion, establishes pivotal concepts about crypto, blockchain, and virtual asset service providers.

In addition to this, the approved version of the bill introduces blockchain as a tool to improve the transparency of state spending, like other projects introduced already in Latam. This would include the progressive migration of public records to the blockchain.

Another important proposal of the bill is the digitalization of the identification process, with issued IDs being published on a public blockchain. Cortizo might take some of the articles passed and make them law, and veto other parts of the bill. To conclude, Cortizo stated:

It is an innovative law from what I have heard, it’s a good law. However, we do have a solid financial system here in Panama and one of the things I’m waiting on is when you have a global regulation of crypto-assets.

What do you think about the opinion of the president of Panama regarding the passed crypto bill? Tell us in the comments section below.