Gabriel Silva, a Panamanian lawmaker who promoted the bill, said on Twitter Thursday that the country’s National Assembly had passed the legislation. The bill will now pass to Panama’s president, Laurentino Cortizo, for his signature.
“This will help Panama become a hub of innovation and technology in Latin America,” Silva said, arguing that the legislation “will help create jobs and financial inclusion.”
A copy of the draft bill, shared by Silva on social media, said citizens, banks, and legal entities in Panama would be permitted to use several cryptocurrencies as a means of payment “without limitation.” Those were: Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, XDC Network, Elrond, Stellar, IOTA and Algorand.
The currencies would be accepted as payment in both civil and commercial capacities, the bill said.
The cryptocurrencies named in the bill vary wildly in value. For example, while Bitcoin was trading at around $38,870 on Friday, according to Coinbase, XDC Network was worth just $0.057.
The “tokenization of precious metals and other goods” would also be permitted under the new law, according to the bill.
Panama’s adoption of the legislation would see it follow in the footsteps of El Salvador and the Central African Republic, with both countries having already approved Bitcoin as an official currency. In Panama, however, it won’t be obligatory to accept the cryptos, meaning they won’t be legal tender per se.