Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo has called for stricter anti-money laundering (AML) controls in the much-anticipated bill that aims to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies, approved by the general assembly. He also refused to enact the law until the changes are implemented.

The taking of the president

Cortizo said he needs assurances that the bill meets global anti-money laundering standards. Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America conference in Panama City, the president added:

“If I am going to answer you right now with the information I have, which is not enough, I am not going to sign that law. I have to be very careful if the law has clauses related to money laundering activities. Anti-money laundering activities are very important to us.”

The global intergovernmental watchdog, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), previously added Panama to its gray list in June 2019. Following this, financial leaders from the offshore hotspot assured that it would commit with various measures focused on strengthening its fight against money laundering (AML) and combating terrorist financing (CFT) regimes.

While Cortizo believes the crypto law is “groundbreaking,” he revealed that he looks forward to global regulation of the asset class.

“It is an innovative law from what I have heard, it is a good law. However, we have a solid financial system here in Panama and one of the things I am looking forward to is when there is a global regulation of crypto assets.”

Laurentino Cortizo. Source: Latam Investor

The bill itself

The legislators of the Latin American country approved a bill that would regulate the use of Bitcoin and eight other cryptocurrencies, while targeting the payment of taxes and private transactions.

A copy shared by Gabriel Silva, a Panamanian legislator, revealed that the country’s citizens, banks and legal entities will be able to use Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, XDC Network, Elrond, Stellar, IOTA and Algorand, as a means of payment in both civil and commercial capacity ” without limitation”.

As previously reported, Panama’s bill contained similar stipulations to neighboring El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law. It would also allow government agencies to migrate public records to blockchain technology, a move many see as transforming the country into a digital hub in Latin America and attracting investment from fintech firms.

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This post Panama Crypto Bill Faces Setback as President Calls for Tighter AML Controls

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