Just two weeks after El Salvador became the first country in the world to classify bitcoin as legal currency, its Central American neighbour, Panama, appears to be following suit. Next month, Panamanian congressman Gabriel Silva plans to present a bill that could lead Panama toward using cryptocurrency as legal tender.
In response to his neighbouring country’s adoption, Silva said he “found El Salvador’s project positive, ambitious, interesting and with good acceptance,” before adding that he’s likely to adapt the project to Panama.
As part of an exercise in due diligence, Silva and his team will collect comments from different parties made up of lawyers, bitcoin users, crypto companies and government officials. Although Silva is yet to flesh out a crypto bill, he has indicated that Panama already has schemes to attract crypto companies via means of work permits and tax exemptions.
As exciting as this is for Panama, consensus won’t be achieved as easily as it was in El Salvador. To be approved, the bill must get 36 of the total 71 votes in the chamber of deputies, and if congress does approve it, the law could still be vetoed by the president.
Despite Silva being a member of the opposition party, the bill’s passing is still hopeful, given the harmonious relationship between the two entities.