Panama City, Panama – The future of the Panamanian cryptocurrency bill, which was approved by the National Assembly last year, now rests in the hands of the Supreme Court after Congress rejected a presidential veto. The bill has been the subject of a contentious debate between President Laurentino Cortizo and the National Assembly since its introduction in 2021.
President Cortizo Vetoed the Crypto Bill In January of 2022, President Cortizo received the bill for approval but instead issued objections to its form and sent it to the Supreme Court. Cortizo specifically criticized articles 34 and 36 of the bill, stating that the legislative initiative requires adaptation to the norms that regulate the financial system and the Panamanian monetary model.
Impasse Between President and Congress The bill has been at an impasse between President Cortizo and Congress since May, when Cortizo stated he would not sign the bill in its current form due to concerns about money laundering and crime financing. However, Cortizo also praised the bill, calling it an “innovation and good law.” In June, Cortizo partially vetoed the bill, sending it back to the National Assembly.
Congress Rejected Presidential Veto The veto caused negative reactions among some representatives of the National Assembly who stated that it was a missed opportunity to attract investments from cryptocurrency companies and to increase financial inclusion. Other countries in Latin America, such as Brazil, El Salvador, and Venezuela, have already regulated cryptocurrency and crypto mining operations.
Future in the Hands of Supreme Court The Supreme Court will now have to weigh the arguments for and against the bill and decide its fate. The decision of the Supreme Court will be crucial in determining whether Panama will join other Latin American countries in regulating the cryptocurrency industry and capturing its potential benefits.