There has not been much that I have agreed with under the leadership of Cortizo. Yet I find it refreshing he is taking a measured and intelligent approach in these uneasy economic times to gather more information on this “made up” money of Cryptocurrency.
During his participation in the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America, the President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo, announced that he will refuse to sign the bill that regulates the commercialization and use of crypto assets, the issuance of digital value, the tokenization of metals precious and other assets, as well as payment systems.
Cortizo said the initiative needs safeguards that meet global anti-money laundering standards, Bloomberg.com reported.
“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,” said Cortizo in an interview with Stephanie Flanders, executive and director at Bloomberg, where he spoke about Panama’s role as a facilitator of investments, and actions that boost the economy and sustainable and environmentally friendly global trade.
Bloomberg recalled that the global watchdog against money laundering and terrorist financing called the Financial Action Task Force has Panama on its list of “jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies” in the fight against money laundering. The Cortizo administration has pledged to implement the task force’s recommendations and tighten controls on “dirty” money.
He stressed that Panama’s dollarized economy and well-developed financial services sector make it a tempting target for drug trafficking organizations in neighboring countries like Colombia and Mexico looking to launder their profits. He added that the initiative needs safeguards that meet global anti-money laundering standards, Bloomberg.com reported.
The cryptocurrency bill that was approved in the third debate by the National Assembly, in April, does not require the use of Bitcoin as a means of payment because it is presented as an option for businesses. The National Bank of Panama will be the supervisory entity of the activity.
Its proponent, the independent deputy Gabriel Silva, has stated that with this law he wants Panama to become a “hub” of innovation and technology in Latin America.
“We are in an economic crisis and the government has lacked a lot of innovation. Betting on non-traditional sectors is what is driving the world’s economy and Panama was falling behind,” said Silva.