Panama’s president has refused to sign a law regulating cryptocurrency
President Laurentino Cortizo of Panama has stated that he would not sign a law regulating the use of cryptocurrencies until it includes stricter anti-money laundering requirements.
Last month, the country’s parliamentary assembly enacted a bill that makes it simpler for cryptocurrency exchanges to get licenses to operate in the country and supervises digital currency transactions.
However, the bill must be signed by the president to become law, and Cortizo said he wanted assurances that it meets global anti-money laundering standards.
“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,” Cortizo said, speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America conference in Panama City. “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 Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global intergovernmental watchdog, has already included Panama to its Grey list in June 2019. Following that, the offshore hotspot’s financial officials pledged to take a number of steps to bolster its anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CFT) regimes.
While Cortizo thinks the crypto law is “innovative,” he disclosed that he is waiting for worldwide crypto regulation.
“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.”
The Latin American country’s parliament have adopted a measure that would govern the usage of Bitcoin and eight other cryptocurrencies, as well as taxes and private transactions.
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