Wednesday, September 28

Panama seeks to get off the FATF gray list and generates uncertainty about bitcoin

Panama has generated uncertainty in the bitcoiner ecosystem after communicating its attempt to leave the gray list of the International Financial Action Group, better known as GAFI or FAFT by its acronym in Spanish and English, respectively. In 2022 it will be three years since the country appears in this global list that registers the countries that have deficiencies in the fight against money laundering.

Ana Raquel Velasco, the director of the SBP (Superintendency of Banks of Panama), made it known that for the review that the FATF will make in January 2022 they hope to leave the gray list, something that raises doubts about the regulation of cryptocurrencies. The official warned that they have already managed to comply with the parameters required by the regulator, including on remittances.

“All the FATF indications, particularly the exercise of illegal remittances that are in the role of SBP, have already been qualified by the evaluator as long complied by Panama,” said Velasco, noting that the country’s financial sector is already governed by frameworks that discourage money laundering and reflect a favorable outlook.

The director of the SBP warned that now the challenge is to carry out the implementation and effectiveness of the frameworks approved in recent years that fight against money laundering. Panama was put on the gray list in 2019, the year from which it has remained there, although it had previously entered in 2014 and managed to leave in 2016.

The FATF commits the countries that it puts on its gray list to resolve identified strategic deficiencies as soon as possible, since while they are there they will advise against trading with them. Its objective is to prevent illegal activities and damage to society by promoting the control of money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Panama continues in the process to regulate the bitcoin ecosystem

Velasco’s statement suggests that his action to exit the gray list would not have changes until January in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency ecosystem in Panama. Although the FATF evaluation will determine if their policies to fight money laundering are correct or if they will have to make a greater control adjustment, which could have an impact on the regulation of cryptocurrencies.

The FATF has determined strict parameters to regulate the bitcoin ecosystem recently. Just two months ago it published a guide with recommendations such as reducing transactions peer-to-peer (P2P), view and control cryptocurrency operations and censor transfers to non-recommended accounts.

Panama continues with the treatment of the bills on the regulation of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Fountain: Karolina Grabowska /

This guide was cataloged as “flawed” to regulate the sector by the research center in public policy with cryptocurrencies Coin Center, as well as different figures from the industry stated that it was difficult to comply with. ATH21, a law firm on crypto assets, said that trying to apply it would require an “overwhelming effort” for the countries, with which it remains to be seen what role the FATF will take on the issue in Panama in January.

For the moment, It is unknown if the FATF decision in January could condition operations with bitcoin and other digital assets in Panama. Meanwhile, as reported by CriptoNoticias, the analysis of the bills on cryptocurrencies in the nation continues, although it has not yet released its status.

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