Costa Rica might be moving toward incorporating bitcoin into its economy. In an effort to modernize the economy, congresswoman Johana Obando this week introduced a bill that would allow bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to be accepted as regulated payment options in the nation.
The bill, number 23,415, also protects citizens’ rights to own cryptocurrencies like bitcoin by defining them as forms of virtual private currency.
One of the goals of this legislation is to increase investment in this sector by providing clarity and protection to individuals and businesses that invest in crypto assets.
Costa Rica’s new bill doesn’t force anyone to accept bitcoin
Obando made it clear that the bill only creates the possibility of doing so if both parties to a transaction agree to accept bitcoin as payment for debts or goods, rather than requiring anyone to do so.
This is not the same as what has been done in nations like El Salvador, which has accepted bitcoin as legal tender.
The proposed bill also calls for the banking system and the cryptocurrency market to be integrated. One of the objectives of the bill, according to Obando, is to “guarantee banking integration of cryptos through public and private banks in the national territory,” suggesting that banks may serve as cryptocurrency exchanges, wallet operators, and custody providers.
“The bill proposes to authorize the use of cryptocurrencies. Cryptoassets are virtual assets that, depending on their function, can serve as a means of payment. Likewise, it introduces the categorization of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as virtual private currency in Costa Rica.”
This could be done to boost the nation’s level of financial inclusion. Over the past five years, Costa Rica’s financial inclusion statistics have improved, with nearly 82% of adults over the age of 18 now having access to a bank account. These levels may supposedly rise if the bill is approved and enforced.
The deputy also defended the project by stating in a video posted to her Facebook page that it aims to bring security to cryptocurrencies in the nation, creating the necessary framework for the nation to create jobs and earn money in the industry.
Five main goals were set forth for this which include various visions of Obando for the country.