Panama will be regional leader in cryptocurrencies

Panama is one of the most dynamic economies worldwide in financial and banking services, one of the initiatives that seek to implement a 10-year strategic plan whose objective is to become the leader of cryptocurrencies in the region, which has been a progress with the project to modernize the financial system in the Republic of Panama.

By means of Licenses on any activity of administration of markets or platforms in which cryptocurrencies are bought or sold, or of storage of them in favor of third parties, cryptocurrency custody wallets will be required, which will require the prior obtaining of the special license established. in the bill in debate.

The plan seeks the implementation of rules applicable to market administration entities and the provision of cryptocurrency custody and / or storage services.

This is because the project tries to regulate these operations through Specialized Financial Institutions known as SFEs, so these provisions develop the rules for the provision of a plurality of payment services, including digital, connected from the Republic of Panama, by part of the SFEs, as well as the mechanisms to provide said payment services, the generic rules of capital and solvency associated with said services and the general rules for the protection of the clients that use them.

For this purpose, SFEs will be considered legal entities that include the following financial services:

  • Opening and management of payment accounts, as well as issuance and receipt of funds.
  • Management of private payment systems.
  • Issuance of electronic money in any of its modalities.
  • Management of markets in which cryptocurrencies are purchased and sold, as well as the provision of custody and / or storage services of the cryptocoins mentioned above.
  • Analogous or complementary services of the previous ones, of which timely authorization is requested.

The auxiliary operations and auxiliary services to the SFEs, which can be carried out, will be the following:

  • Loan operations for the execution of payments.
  • Issuance of instruments for the operation of payment accounts.
  • Management of the consolidation of the financial positions of the clientele.
  • Forex and currency exchange transactions that are fundamental to payment transactions, or that are provided to customers of payment services
  • Issuance of instruments for the operation of electronic money.
  • Management of the return of indirect taxes to non-residents.

In this sense, according to the implementation of this project, the competent entity to regulate the SFEs would be the Ministry of Economy and Finance during the first three years of the effectiveness of this law, after this date the entity in charge would be the Superintendency of banks.

Said entities will apply supervision and regulation fees of up to $ 200,000 thousand, including analogous tariffs, which will be determined by this competent entity.

These specialized financial entities must comply with the following documents to obtain the license:

  • Descriptive report of the activities to be carried out.
  • Exact identification of the services to be provided.
  • Project of the Social Pact of the future society of SFEs,
  • Copy of identity and personal resume of the directors and dignitaries.
  • Current criminal record certificates of natural persons related to SFEs.
  • Management check for $ 1500 per processing cost.
  • Planned organization.
  • Business plan for three years.
  • Report on technological media
  • Bank certificate issued by a bank that certifies the existence of the minimum capital required for this type of license.
  • Copy of personal identity of the holders of the SFEs entity.
  • Procedure to control and manage the risk of money laundering and financing of terrorism, as well as financial, technological and operational risks.
  • Detailed description of the procedures to ensure segregation of customer accounts.

The term to obtain this license will be thirty business days, extendable for 30 days if additional information is required.

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