Značka: Panama

Law Decoded, June 13–20: Celsius exodus and liquidity crisis

Last week, the Celsius Network wrote its name in the alarming recent history of the crypto market failures alongside Terra. The American platform has unstaked $247 million worth of Wrapped Bitcoin (wBTC) from the Aave protocol and sent it to crypto exchange FTX while putting the withdrawal option for users on a stop. Immediately after that, United States securities regulators from five states — Alabama, Kentucky, New Jersey, Texas and Washington — opened an investigation into Celsius. This isn’t the first time the platform is facing suspicions from law enforcement. In September 2021, The Texas State Securities Board scheduled a hearing related to allegations that the network had offered and sold securities in the state that were not registered or permitted. What is worrying, though, is that Celsius might not appear as a single case of poor management but the first victim in a row amid the ongoing liquidity crisis in crypto. By the end of the week, Hong Kong-based asset manager Babel Finance announced the temporary suspension of redemptions and withdrawals from its products, citing “unusual liquidity pressures.”Gary Gensler attacks a Lummis-Gillibrand bill United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Gary Gensler admitted that he’s worried, and the object of his anxiety is the recently published “Responsible Financial Innovation Act,” co-sponsored by Senators Cynthia Lummis and Kirsten Gillibrand. Speaking at The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network Summit, Gensler implied the bill has the potential to “undermine the protections we have in a $100 trillion capital market.”Continue readingLast-minute veto in PanamaSometimes months or even years of optimistic development can just stop at one moment. It happened in Panama, as the country’s president Laurentino Cortizo has partially vetoed Bill No. 697. A “crypto bill” passed the National Assembly voting in April 2022, but Cortizo was pretty clear even at that point, threatening to veto the document unless it included additional Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules. Should the bill finally receive the president’s signature, it would make Panama the second Central American country to regulate the spending of cryptocurrencies. Continue reading A Dogecoin lawsuit for Elon MuskBillionaire Elon Musk has been used for $258 billion on the allegations of being “engaged in a crypto pyramid scheme” involving Dogecoin (DOGE): a number that might be a bit audacious, as it exceeds Dogecoin’s all-time high market cap by three times. In the filing, one of the plaintiffs states that Musk and his corporations were “unjustly enriched” by $86 billion as a result of wire fraud, gambling enterprise, false advertising, deceptive practices and other unlawful conduct. The case could certainly color up the media space. Continue reading

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President of Panama shoots down crypto bill citing FATF guidelines

Panama’s President Laurentino Cortizo has partially vetoed Bill No. 697 dubbed the “crypto bill” saying it requires more work to better fit Panama’s financial regulations.President Cortizo previously warned in May he wouldn’t sign the bill unless it included additional Anti-Money Laundering rules after Panama’s National Assembly passed the crypto bill in late April 2022.Local media outlet La Prenda obtained a copy of the 32-page veto, reporting the President wrote it’s “imperative” the cryptocurrency laws conform to new regulations recommended by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) outlining “fiscal transparency and prevention of money laundering”.President Cortizo has previously described the legislation as an “innovative law”, and indicated approval of certain aspects of the bill, but has said possible illicit uses of cryptocurrencies needed addressing.Congressman Gabriel Silva who helped introduce the bill in September 2021 tweeted on June 16 that (according to a translation) the veto was “a lost opportunity to generate jobs, attract investment and incorporate technology and innovation in the public sector.” El Presidente acaba de vetar parcialmente el proyecto de Ley de CryptoUna oportunidad perdida para generar empleos, atrae inversión e incorporar tecnología e innovación en el sector públicoEl país merece más oportunidades y también inclusión financiera (1/2)— Gabriel Silva (@gabrielsilva8_7) June 16, 2022“The country deserves more opportunities and financial inclusion,” Silva added, saying Congress will study the veto to make corrections which will then be passed through to debates.Related: Top 30 Panama Bank is ‘Bitcoin friendly,’ welcomes crypto servicesIf the bill is eventually signed it will make Panama the second Central American country to regulate the spending of cryptocurrencies. The nearby country of El Salvador was famously the first country to make Bitcoin (BTC) a legal tender.Unlike El Salvador however, Panama’s bill covers other cryptocurrencies besides Bitcoin and wouldn’t require local businesses to accept digital assets.According to the bill Panamanians “may freely agree on the use of crypto assets, including without limitation Bitcoin and Ethereum (ETH)” as an alternative payment for “any civil or commercial operation”.The bill would also cover the issuance of digital value and regulate the tokenization of such things as precious metals. A digitization of identity using blockchain or distributed ledger technology would also be researched by the government’s innovation authority.

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Top 30 Panama Bank is 'Bitcoin friendly,' welcomes crypto services

Panama’s path to crypto adoption is stepping up a gear. Towerbank, a Panamanian financial institution with over 200 employees and 40 years of banking experience, has declared itself Bitcoin friendly (BTC), paving the way for crypto accounts. In a series of tweets and leaks from a blockchain meetup in Panama’s capital, Panama City the bank is opening the floodgates to the crypto community. During the blockchain meetup hosted by the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Blockchain of Panama on May 26, representatives from Towerbank invited crypto enthusiasts to open accounts at the bank. Reportedly, Gabriel Campa, ​​vice president of product for Towerbank shared that crypto customers would not suffer “setbacks” that–ordinarily–Panamanian citizens would be subject to when executing crypto activities at the bank. Cristobal Pereira, Executive Director of the Latam Blockchain Summit and an attendee of the meetup with Towerbank and Campa shared, “Towerbank is crypto-friendly.” In a tweet, he stated that crypto enthusiasts can “come to open accounts and deposit withdrawals from exchanges without fear.”Acá en Panamá en #meetup con @Towerbank y anuncian que son #crypto friendly, y pueden venir a abrir cuentas y depositar retiros desde exchanges sin miedo… primer banco en Latam que públicamente anuncia esto! Digno de compartir! pic.twitter.com/mVEKFfI8Uf— Cristobal Pereira (@cristpereirag) May 26, 2022On May 28, Towerbank’s official Twitter account shared: “hello, crypto community!”, confirming rumors that the Top 30 Panamanian bank had taken a shine to crypto enthusiasts in Latin America. The tweet has since been pinned to the profile. ¡Hola comunidad #Crypto !— Towerbank (@Towerbank) May 28, 2022

Reportedly, crypto-related transactions are limited up to $5,000 per month and the bank is not offering direct crypto to crypto services. To date, the move is a gesture to the crypto community that digital assets under a certain amount can be used at the bank without obstacles.Towerbank has since retweeted tweets suggesting that customers will be able to link their crypto accounts–such as Binance–directly to their Towerbank bank accounts, but no official statement has been made. A groundswell of pro crypto sentiment has stirred in Panama, but the President announced in May that a crypto bill won’t land any time soon. For some commentators, the bank’s pro-crypto move is not only a means to undermine the poor reputation that crypto endures but also to diversify its customer base, expanding to the money-oriented crypto community.Related: Paraguay paves the way for crypto regulation despite internal oppositionFinally, the bank drove home its Bitcoiner credentials when the Twitter account retweeted a meme created by Bitcoiner Aldo Antinori. In the tweet, Towerbank’s flagship construction, located in Panama City’s financial district wears Bitcoin-appropriate laser eyes. ¡Buenísimo Aldo! Te quedó a otro nivel https://t.co/U0waaZtOd4— Towerbank (@Towerbank) May 27, 2022

Cointelegraph has reached out to Towerbank for comment and will update the article as soon as possible.

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Panama’s president says he won’t sign crypto bill into law ’at this moment’

Laurentino Cortizo, the president of Panama, has said he won’t sign off on a crypto bill recently approved by the country’s National Assembly without additional Anti-Money Laundering rules.Speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America conference on Wednesday, Cortizo said the bill recently passed by Panama’s legislature must go through legal checks before reaching his desk, but added he needed more information before potentially signing it into law. Describing the legislation as an “innovative law” and a “good law,” the president said he approved of certain aspects of the bill but hinted at possible illicit uses of cryptocurrencies that needed to be addressed.“I will not sign that law at this moment,” said Cortizo. “If the law has clauses related to money laundering activities — Anti-Money Laundering activities — that’s very important for us.”Panama President Laurentino Cortizo speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Gateway Latin America conference on WednesdayPanama’s “Crypto Law” passed in the National Assembly following the third debate on April 28. According to the legislative body, the bill was aimed at regulating “the trading and use of crypto assets, the issuance of digital value, the tokenization of precious metals and other assets, payment systems and other provisions.” In contrast to El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law, which required local businesses to accept Bitcoin, the Panama Crypto Law, if passed, would likely give residents and businesses the option of using and accepting cryptocurrency. According to an early draft of the bill, many businesses would not need a special license to accept crypto.Pro-crypto lawmaker Gabriel Silva has suggested passage of the Crypto Law would help foster financial inclusion in Panama and create additional opportunities for employment. However, economist Ernesto Bazán has called for President Cortizo to veto the bill, claiming the lack of clear regulations in the country was unlikely to inspire trust in cryptocurrencies, risking the financial stability of banks and the local economy.“It is essential to have competent professionals, supervisory capacity and sufficiency, even more so in such a novel and specialized subject,” said Bazán. “Weak regulation would open a window of opportunity for greater fraud, cyberattacks and criminal activities that would imply a loss of confidence in the country and its International Banking Center […] We await the veto of the law and that a comprehensive analysis of the risks that this regulation implies be carried out. For the good of the country.”Related: Ukraine’s president signs law establishing regulatory framework for cryptoSilva helped introduce the Panama Crypto Law to the National Assembly in September 2021, on the same day El Salvador officially began recognizing Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender. The bill moved out of the Economic Affairs Committee on April 21 before being approved by the National Assembly on April 28 and is currently awaiting approval or veto from President Cortizo.

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Panama's legislature approves bill regulating crypto

Lawmakers in Panama have passed a bill that will regulate cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, in the Latin American country.In a Thursday tweet, Panamanian pro-crypto congressperson Gabriel Silva said lawmakers had approved the “Panama Crypto Law” following a third debate. According to Silva, the law will “help Panama become a hub of innovation and technology in Latin America.”According to Panama’s National Assembly, the Crypto Law is aimed at regulating “the trading and use of crypto assets, the issuance of digital value, the tokenization of precious metals and other assets, payment systems and other provisions.” However, Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo must sign the approved bill before it becomes law. “This will help create jobs and financial inclusion,” said Silva on the passage of the bill.Aprobada la Ley de Crypto de Panamá! Esto ayudará a que Panamá se vaya consolidando como hub de innovación y tecnología de America Latina! Crypto Law approved in third debate! This will help Panama become a hub of innovation and technology in Latin America!— Gabriel Silva (@gabrielsilva8_7) April 28, 2022In September 2021 — the same day El Salvador began recognizing Bitcoin (BTC) as legal tender — Silva helped introduce the bill to the National Assembly of Panama, with the legislation aimed at making the country “compatible with the digital economy, blockchain, crypto assets and the internet.” The bill moved out of the Economic Affairs Committee on April 21 before being approved by the National Assembly. In contrast to El Salvador’s Bitcoin Law, which required local businesses to accept Bitcoin, Panama’s Crypto Law, if passed, would likely give residents and businesses the option of using and accepting cryptocurrency. According to an early draft of the bill, many businesses would not need a special license to accept crypto.Related: Brazil’s Senate approves ‘Bitcoin law’ to regulate cryptocurrenciesIt’s unclear if the passage of the Crypto Law would lead Panama to accept Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as legal tender alongside the balboa and U.S. dollar. El Salvador began recognizing BTC as legal tender in September 2021 following the passage of its law in the Salvadoran Legislative Assembly, and the Central African Republic announced on Wednesday its residents would be able to use Bitcoin as legal tender in addition to the country’s franc.

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Santo Blockchain to deliver 50 Bitcoin ATMs to Panama

Panama is doing its best to keep up with El Salvador’s Bitcoinization with the installation of 50 Bitcoin (BTC) ATMs in 2022. Thanks to Santo Blockchain, 50 of the planned 300 ATMs will begin shipping to Latin America in early 2022.A vertically integrated blockchain and cryptocurrency company with offices in Saigon, Vietnam and Panama City, Santo Blockchain will invest a total of $1 million into Latin America in general next year as part of its 300 Bitcoin ATM plan. Santo Blockchain announced Panama would be the first country to benefit from its newly purchased Bitcoin ATMs, while Colombia and Costa Rica are the next on its radar. Panama has become an increasingly crypto-friendly jurisdiction. In September, a new bill was drafted to recognize BTC as an alternative payment method, possibly enabling greater freedoms in Panama when using crypto. Santo Blockchain CEO Frank Yglesias, who goes by the moniker ‘Crypto Hemingway,’ serves as a crypto advisor to the Panamanian congressman Alejandro Castillero, who oversees regulations regarding the new laws. Of the 300 ATM deal, Yglesias said:“Santo is on a journey to help bring a new wave of crypto banking, investment and commerce to over 400,000,000 people in Latin America that are unbanked or unbankable, including 10% to 15% of the Hispanics in the United States that also are unbankable.”As part of the plan, Latin Americans using ATMs will be able to buy tiny amounts of BTC with cash. The Santo business model links the ATMs to a layer-2 BTC wallet built by the company and eventually a Santo debit card–rolled out in Q3 2022.In the company’s year-end podcast, Yglesias said that Panama is the first Latin American country because it is the gateway to the Americas in terms of trade and logistics, finance and economic stability. Ultimately, Panama is the “stepping stone” to broader Latin American BTC adoption. Related: More countries to follow El Salvador’s Bitcoin move, Cardano creator saysThe news is welcome to a continent lagging in physical Bitcoin infrastructure. Indeed, LATAM has some catching up to do to keep pace with North America’s 5,000 Bitcoin ATMs. To compound the matter, in October this year, retail juggernaut Walmart piloted 200 Bitcoin ATMs as part of a plan to install 8,000 nationwide eventually.According to CoinATMRadar figures, a Bitcoin ATM tracking site, North America hosts 94.8% of worldwide BTC ATMs; LatAm holds just 0.2%. Unsurprisingly, El Salvador leads the region with 205 ATM locations. With Santo’s plan to introduce 50 new ATMs in 2022, Panama will offer 73 physical BTC locations, placing them just below the United Kingdom in the world rankings.

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