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President Of Panama Partially Vetoes Crypto Law Passed By National Assembly

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President Of Panama Partially Vetoes Crypto Law Passed By National Assembly

Laurentino Cortizo, president of Panama, has exercised his veto powers to make a series of objections to the recently approved cryptocurrency law. The observations of the president only touch on certain articles and do not affect the law in its entire scope. However, these articles of the bill will have to be re-discussed, taking into account the observations of Cortizo.

Cortizo Vetoes Crypto Law in Panama

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Laurentino Cortizo, the president of Panama, has vetoed the recently approved cryptocurrency law, sending it back to the National Assembly to be discussed. The veto was a partial one, with Cortizo having second thoughts about the legality of several, but not all, articles in the approved bill.

The announcement was made by Gabriel Silva, one of the proponents of the law, on social media. Silva criticized the decision taken by Cortizo, stating it was :

A lost opportunity to generate jobs, attract investment and incorporate technology and innovation in the public sector. The country deserves more opportunities and also financial inclusion.

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Silva also explained he was studying the needed changes for the bill and that it would be going now to two committees of the National Assembly — the Government Commission and the Trade Commission. After this, it will have to be discussed twice, again. However, he did not indicate which articles of the law had been vetoed by Cortizo.

The so-called crypto law, which was the result of an amalgamation of two different cryptocurrency law projects, defined a blockchain-based ID system and also the use of blockchain technologies to improve the transparency of public spending.

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Concerns Expressed

The veto of a part of the law by Cortizo’s team was not a total surprise. The president of Panama had expressed concerns about the scope and some of the definitions of the law. In an interview given in May, when asked about the approval of the crypto law, Cortizo stated:

If I’m going to answer you right now with the information that I have, which is not enough, I will not sign that law.

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Cortizo stated that unresolved money laundering issues would prevent the law from being sanctioned, as the country maintains a difficult relationship with the Financial Action Task Force, which has included it in its gray list along with countries like the Philippines, Yemen, and Turkey. However, he also pointed out that the bill was an innovative and good law.

What do you think about the crypto law and its veto in Panama? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Sergio Goschenko

Sergio is a cryptocurrency journalist based in Venezuela. He describes himself as late to the game, entering the cryptosphere when the price rise happened during December 2017. Having a computer engineering background, living in Venezuela, and being impacted by the cryptocurrency boom at a social level, he offers a different point of view about crypto success and how it helps the unbanked and underserved.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

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Albania To Start Taxing Crypto-Related Income From 2023

Authorities in Albania are finalizing regulations that will allow the taxation of income and profits from cryptocurrency investments. The government intends to begin imposing the levy in 2023, after adopting the necessary legislation which has been proposed for public consultations.

Albania Set to Impose Crypto Tax as Early as Next Year

The Albanian state should begin collecting taxes on income from crypto assets as of 2023 in accordance with a new income tax bill, the local English-language portal Exit News reported on Friday. The government also hopes to pass a number of other laws and bylaws this year in order to comprehensively regulate the matter.

The special tax legislation is currently open for public consultations. It introduces the concept of taxing crypto holdings and income derived from virtual assets. The latter have been defined as “a digital representation of a value that can be deposited, traded or transferred in digital form, and that can be used for payment or investment purposes or as a medium of exchange, including but not limited to cryptocurrencies.”

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However, the definition does not cover central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the report notes. That’s despite a growing number of monetary authorities around the world developing a digital version of their national fiats. The list includes major powers such as the United States, the European Union, China, and the Russian Federation.

The Albanian law also defines cryptocurrency mining as an activity using computing power to confirm transactions and gain virtual assets in exchange. The extraction of cryptocurrencies has been a grey area although law enforcement has been going after illegal mining facilities in the country and pressed charges against some of their operators.

Under the new legislation, any income from crypto transactions or mining will be classified as corporate income when it’s received as a result of business activity. And when the beneficiaries are private individuals, they will have to pay capital gains tax of 15%.

Financial Watchdog Tasked to Expand Crypto Regulatory Framework

Earlier this month, the Albanian parliament ordered the Financial Supervisory Authority (AFSA) to prepare and adopt new regulations regarding cryptocurrencies by the end of 2022. Albanian law allows crypto trading platforms to legally work in the country but no licensed entities are currently operating in Albania, Exit News remarked.

Two years ago, Albania also adopted a law titled “Financial markets based on distributed ledger technology.” While many have welcomed the legislation, critics have questioned whether the small nation in South East Europe, still an EU hopeful, is capable of properly regulating its crypto sector to prevent it from being used for money laundering, something it’s struggling to achieve in the fiat space.

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The legislature referenced a recent report by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures and the Financing of Terrorism (Moneyval), which recommended additional steps regarding the risks associated with cryptocurrency. In November 2021, the AFSA approved its first two regulations implementing the crypto markets law, which introduced capital and licensing requirements for entities working with digital assets.

Do you expect Albania to adopt comprehensive regulations for its crypto space by the end of the year? Tell us in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Bill Imposing Fines For Illegal Issuance And Exchange Of Digital Assets Proposed In Russia

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Bill Imposing Fines For Illegal Issuance And Exchange Of Digital Assets Proposed In Russia

A bill introducing financial penalties for those who illegally issue or exchange digital financial assets has been filed in the Russian parliament. The legislation has been submitted by the sponsor of another draft law banning their use as a means of payment.

New Bill Targets Russian Platforms Issuing and Trading Digital Currencies Outside Law

Persons and entities illegally issuing digital financial assets (DFAs), the current definition of cryptocurrencies in Russia, will have to pay hefty fines, according to a bill recently submitted to the State Duma, the lower house of Russian parliament.

If the legislation is adopted, the penalties will be imposed on companies that are not registered with the state as exchange or investment platform operators, the crypto news outlet Forklog reported on Thursday, quoting the document.

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The fines range from a maximum of 5,000 Russian rubles (around $90) for individuals and 30,000 ($550) for officials, to between 700,000 – 1,000,000 rubles (over $18,000) for legal entities, the report details. Businesses that fail to comply with the regulations pertaining to digital rights (tokens) would face similar penalties, up to 700,000 rubles (almost $13,000).

The draft law is sponsored by Anatoly Aksakov, who chairs the parliamentary Financial Market Committee. The high-ranking deputy has been involved in the ongoing efforts to adopt a comprehensive legal framework for Russia’s crypto sector. At the moment, the industry is only partially regulated by the law “On Digital Financial Assets,” which went into force in January, 2021.

Aksakov was also behind another crypto-related bill filed earlier this month, which aims to ban payments with DFAs in Russia. While institutions in Moscow are still debating over many future regulations for cryptocurrencies, there is a wide consensus among officials that the ruble should remain the only legal tender in the country.

At the same time, an idea to allow crypto payments in small business transactions abroad, in the face of mounting financial sanctions, has gained support, even from the Central Bank of Russia which has consistently opposed the legalization of bitcoin and the like as a means of payment.

Another draft law, the bill “On Digital Currency,” which was proposed by the Ministry of Finance in February and has undergone multiple revisions since then, is supposed to regulate these matters. Delayed by ongoing discussions on its provisions, it is expected to be reviewed by Russian lawmakers during the fall session of the Duma.

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Do you think Russian authorities will introduce other restrictions on operations with digital assets? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons, E. O.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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Russian Finance Ministry Rules Out Sale Of Oil For Bitcoin

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Russian Finance Ministry Rules Out Sale Of Oil For Bitcoin

The Russian government considers bitcoin as a payment option for small business transactions, not for oil exports, the country’s finance ministry has indicated. A top official emphasized the department means that cryptocurrencies may be used in barter deals, but not as legal tender.

Crypto Payments Not for Russian State Settlements, Ministry of Finance Says

Cryptocurrency payments, in terms of international transactions, are seen by the authorities in Moscow as an alternative option for small private business contracts, but this will not affect Russian oil deliveries. The clarification was made by the head of the finance ministry’s Financial Policy Department, Ivan Chebeskov, who recently spoke with reporters on the matter.

The ministry proposes to employ cryptocurrency as an asset, not as a means of payment, the high-ranking official remarked. That means digital currencies can be used in barter transactions — when a buyer formally exchanges bitcoins, or other cryptocurrencies, for a product or service, he explained. Quoted by RTVI, Chebeskov elaborated:

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The task is to provide an alternative, and not to say that Russia is now paying for everything with crypto. This is not about state settlements but private business only.

The Minfin representative pointed out that oil would hardly be sold for bitcoins due to large volumes of these exports. And while not all of Russia’s partners would be able to transition to national currencies despite the increasing difficulties with U.S. dollar and euro payments, he believes crypto settlements are only possible under relatively small contracts and with friendly countries open to accepting coins.

Chebeskov’s comments come after an earlier statement by the head of the parliamentary Energy Committee, Pavel Zavalny, who mentioned bitcoin as a possible substitute for western currencies in Russian energy exports, those of natural gas in particular.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Russia has softened its stance on crypto payments within the context of foreign trade relations. In May, a provision allowing Russian companies to make such transactions for import and export purposes was added to the new bill “On Digital Currency” drafted by the Ministry of Finance.

Recognizing cryptocurrency as property in Russia’s Civil Code and amending an article on barter exchanges in the legislation governing foreign economic activities of Russian entities are also necessary to fully open the door for this type of deal, the report details.

The United States and its allies have been trying to prevent the Russian Federation from utilizing cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions imposed over its ongoing military invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Some global crypto platforms have already blocked Russian accounts, RTVI notes.

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bill, Central Bank, Crypto, crypto payments, crypto settlements, Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency, Energy, Exports, finance ministry, Gas, Law, Legislation, OIL, Regulation, Regulations, Russia, russian, Sanctions, Ukraine, War

Do you think Russia may change its mind about crypto payments in oil trade? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Lubomir Tassev

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

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Image Credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Wiki Commons

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a direct offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation or endorsement of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

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