Congressman Gabriel Silva presented a Crypto Law project. Even though Silva’s profile picture has laser eyes, the congressman doesn’t even mention Bitcoin in the video with which he announces his accomplishment. Is this bullish for cryptocurrencies in general? Or is it another case of a politician trying to make a name for himself using buzzwords that he doesn’t understand? Let’s dig deeper.
Related Reading | Domino Effect: Which Countries Will Adopt Bitcoin Next?
This is the video:
Hoy presentamos la Ley de Cripto. Buscamos hacer a Panamá un país compatible con el blockchain, los criptoactivos y el internet.
Esto tiene el potencial de crear miles de empleos, atraer inversión y transparentar el gobierno
— Gabriel Silva (@gabrielsilva8_7) September 6, 2021
In it, among other things, congressman Gabriel Silva says:
“The bill is quite simple. Firstly, it seeks to give certainty and legal security to crypto assets, such as cryptocurrencies, in Panama. The second thing the project seeks is to attract companies, attract investment, and help foster entrepreneurship in Panama that focus on the digital economy. This is positive, because it helps to promote and create jobs. And the third thing it seeks is to expand the amount of financial services offered in Panama, in order to ensure better prices for everyone ”
What Does The Crypto Law Project Say?
The use of the specialized language is shaky at best. And the Crypto Law project definitely doesn’t want to make anything legal tender, nor is it a Bitcoin-only bill. Congressman Gabriel Silva didn’t use the word Bitcoin in the video, but it appears eleven times in the document titled “Crypto Law: What Makes Panana Compatible With The Digital Economy, The Blockchain, Cryptoactives, And The Internet.” Ethereum is only mentioned four times.
Still, you can feel Ethereum’s presence in the Crypto Law:
“Cryptoassets like Bitcoin serve as potential long-term investments and shelter against inflation. Crypto assets are also divisible into many more units than traditional assets. In the case of Bitcoin, it can be subdivided into 100 million Satoshis, for example. Systems like Ethereum and Cardano have similar divisibility properties.”
However, let’s cut to the chase. The Crypto Law seems to specifically include Bitcoin and Ethereum, and leave the door open for other Altcoins. In Article 8, the project says:
“Natural persons located in the Republic of Panama, or legal persons organized in the Republic of Panama, may freely agree on the use of crypto assets, including without limitation Bitcoin and Ethereum, as a means of payment for any civil or commercial operation not prohibited by the Republic of Panama’s legal system.”
And if it’s taxes you’re worrying about… keep worrying. The numbers are not pretty:
“The taxpayer will undergo capital gains treatment and, consequently, will calculate the Income Tax on the profits obtained at a fixed rate of ten percent (10%). The Executive Branch will regulate this matter.”
BTC price chart on Bitstamp | Source: BTC/USD on TradingView.com
Deja Vu, This Has Happened Before
In October 2020, Criptonoticias reported:
“The National Assembly of Panama will discuss a draft bill on the use and commercialization of cryptocurrencies in Panama, that legislative body reported via Twitter on October 22, 2020. The legal instrument, which aims to regulate “the use of virtual currencies or cryptocurrencies and the forms of transaction with them” in Panama, was introduced last Thursday.
Related Reading | How Laser Eyes Could Have Bitcoin Investors Seeing Red
At that time, the efforts didn’t amount to much. However, the intention was there and it planted the Crypto Law’s seed. And with El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law going into effect in a few hours, the table is set for other countries in the area to go big or go home. Which one is going to be, Panama?
Featured Image by Luis Gonzalez on Unsplash - Charts by TradingView