Details of a Paraguayan private member’s bill that its author promised would bring bitcoin (BTC) and crypto into the national economy have allegedly been leaked to the media hours before they were due to be unveiled.
The alleged bill is the brainchild of the Panamanian MP Carlos “Carlitos” Rejala of the minority opposition Hagamos Party, who is yet to comment on the leak.
Rejala first announced that he would be developing the law after the President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele unveiled details of his own country’s move to make BTC legal tender alongside the United States dollar.
Rejala teased the new bill again earlier this month, after winning the support of Fernando Silva Facetti, a long-serving senator for the Authentic Radical Liberal Party.
However, the allegedly leaked document, obtained by Decrypt, appears to have been co-authored by a person named Fernando Arriola, likely a Director at the crypto mining outfit BC Mining. It also claims to have the backing of a collective of domestic blockchain firms named the Paraguayan Chamber of Fintech.
And rather than seeking to adopt BTC as legal tender, as was the case in El Salvador, the text of the bill mainly pertains to crypto mining, how to bring it under the Paraguayan legal umbrella by means of a permit-based system – and how to tax miners.
The draft bill also contains multiple clauses about how crypto-related money laundering should be avoided, how crypto exchanges should be regulated to provide “customer protection.” One clause proposes making the “commercial sale” of crypto legal and “free.” The bill makes no direct mention of BTC or any other token.
Rejala’s original post on the matter made express mention of bitcoin, as did another post on the draft bill from late last week.
Facetti was not listed as a co-sponsor of the leaked bill. However, the bill – if it is indeed genuine – must first pass the committee stage in the lower house, then pass a vote in the house (where Hagamos has just two seats) before reaching the senate.
Rejala had previously promised “a mega surprise for Paraguay and the world,” adding that “something giant is coming.”
Cryptonews.com has contacted Rejala and will update should a reply be forthcoming.
“It is important to see if the actual bill turns out to be ‘crypto-friendly’, because in some cases governments have promised to regulate crypto, but the actual legislation was underdeveloped and put excessive scrutiny on companies and individuals,” Kirill Suslov, CEO of trading app TabTrader said in an emailed comment.
Meanwhile, Ruud Feltkamp CEO of crypto trading bot Cryptohopper, stressed that being regulated should take away the risk for investors, which makes it easier to attract capital.
“It does become more difficult to innovate, though,” he said, adding that “We have learned from regulations in the Netherlands that regulators must keep talking with companies involved in crypto, because that’s where much of the hands-on experience is.”
– El Salvador Gov’t: We’re Giving out Bitcoin – but Don’t Convert it to Fiat
– El Salvador Will Be a Serious Test for Bitcoin’s Layer-2 Networks
(Updated at 12:45 UTC with additional comments.)