When El Salvador became the first country to recognise cryptocurrency as legal tender, cryptocurrency enthusiasts were confident that other countries would do the same sooner rather than later. As it turns out, they were right. Early this May, Panama officially recognised 8 different cryptocurrencies. MP Gabriel Silva called the move a step forward for “Panama to become the center of innovation and technology in Latin America.”
Excluding Bitcoin, The 8 other recognized cryptocurrencies include:
Moving forward, Panama state channels will begin more payment channels for cryptocurrency.
What The Critics Are Saying
For decades, Panama has been somewhat of a haven for tax evasion. Panama’s reputation came to a breaking point in 2016, when the ‘Panama Papers’ exposed the corruption of various high profile figures across the world. Critics now believe that cryptocurrency will only serve to push such illicit activities further, and allow money-related criminal activity to prosper, indetected by regular means.
What Supporters Are Saying
Even the most bullish cryptocurrency investors have been left scratching their heads at the list of cryptocurrencies approved by Panama. Most people agree that approving Bitcoin and Ethereum make perfect sense, but alt coins such as Ripple and IOTA are definutely the ugly ducklings of the bunch. Ripple is currently facing a law suit in America, while the founders of IOTA are currently fighting amongst eachother in German court.
Where The Market Stands
At present, most seem to agree that the acceptence of cryptocurrency as legal tender in panama is largely symbolic. What matters more is how this first step will influence policy making in the future, and whether or not the free market in Panama will really adopt cryptocurrency.