Business 15 May 2018

Erik Gibbs

By royal decree, cryptocurrency is now regulated in Thailand

Thailand’s royalty understands the importance of cryptocurrency. The country has created the regulatory framework that outlines cryptocurrencies, signed off on by a royal decree, the Bangkok Post reported. The new laws, which are comprised of 100 different sections, was published in Thailand’s Royal Gazette and defines digital currency equally as “digital assets and digital tokens.” Cryptocurrency is fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Both the SEC and the country’s finance minister, Apisak Tantivorawong, have been supportive of initial coin offerings (ICO) and cryptocurrencies, and the new laws aren’t meant to hinder future innovation of the space. Just the opposite – they’re designed to promote innovation and expansion under a set of legal guidelines.

Now that the royal decree is official, any entity that wants to sell digital assets or tokens is obligated to register with the SEC within 90 days. Failure to do so could result in a penalty that is up to twice the value of any unauthorized digital transaction, or a minimum of $15,700. Those that try to buck the system could also be sentenced to up to two years in prison.

All domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and dealers must register with the relevant authorities, as outlined in the royal decree. Tantivorawong has stressed that the move is designed to protect investors while ensuring cryptocurrencies aren’t used for money laundering, tax evasion or other criminal activities.

The framework was first introduced in March, and has gone through several changes since. Prior to the laws, there was a certain level of apprehension on the part of Thailand’s central bank, which subsequently banned domestic banks from participating in cryptocurrency investments or trading. The bank had become concerned that any cryptocurrency activity could be banned completely. ICO trading was halted by the Thai Digital Asset Exchange in February for the same reason, although the exchanges were allowed to continue operations.

Cryptocurrency assets are already subjected to taxation in the country. Tantivorawong spoke at a cabinet meeting on March 27, outlining how some cryptocurrency activity would be taxed. Trades are given a 7% value added tax and returns are assessed a 15% capital gains tax.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

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