Thailand’s blockchain and digital asset industry isn’t taking off as much as they were initially hoping, so they’re looking to make some changes. Local news outlet Bangkok Post reported on Nov. 25 that Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to reconsider its crypto policy in 2020.
The reason lies in the poor uptake of its certification and licensing scheme by cryptocurrency businesses. Since the rules took effect last year, only five companies have completed certification, and of those, just two have launched. The SEC has not yet given details of how current practices would change, but several amendments are being considered.
“The regulator must be flexible in applying the rules and regulations in line with the market environment,” stated Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, the Secretary-General of the SEC per the report.
“For example, laws should not be outdated and should serve market needs, especially for new digital asset products, and be competitive with the global market. We need to explore any possible obstacles.”
The news coincides with Thai lawmaker’s plan to amend cryptocurrency laws. Some regulators had voiced concerns that regulations have made the nation uncompetitive. This pro-crypto sentiment has extended to other government bureaus per Bangkok Post.
On the same day, it reports circulated that the Excise Department of Thailand is exploring using blockchain technology for tax refunds and the prevention of tax frauds in Thailand.
The current system used by the department involve paper-based documents that are submitted by the oil exporters, and according to Patchara Anuntasilpa, Director General of the Excise Department. The inspection of these documents is not as thorough as it needs to be, he added. The department would adopt the blockchain-based system of tax refunds by mid-2020.
Currently, Thailand has a 7% VAT rate for sales of goods and services in the country. Some oil traders claim a tax waiver by providing documents of oil export, but still, sell the oil in the country without paying the VAT. This avoidance practice leads to deficiencies in the income of the excise department, which it hopes to solve with a blockchain platform.
A blockchain system will enable the Excise Department to carry out a careful inspection of tax payments and prevent oil tax frauds by oil exporters while also decreasing the time spent on review of payments. Also, the agency will be able to keep an eye on the entire export custody chain, from the refinery to the depots and even to the destination countries.
Per the report, the Excise Department has partnered with Krungthai Bank (KTB) to develop this blockchain-based system to upgrade its services.
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