Over the past year, Thailand’s crypto landscape has seen a turbulent conflict of interests between regulatory authorities and entrepreneurs. Similar battles surrounding crypto regulations occur in most countries due to regulators’ fear of fostering decentralization and the public’s growing distrust of fiat currencies and traditional banking. However, Thailand’s stance on crypto has largely been encouraging, making the Kingdom a relatively ideal testing ground for new blockchain inventions and ICO entrepreneurs.
Thailand’s recent crypto developments are summarized below, presented in reverse chronological order:
The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) conducts their first discussions of permitting asset management companies to facilitate crypto asset funds for the public. This includes mutual funds, hedge funds and futures–all for crypto. This is encouraging as it implies that Thailand’s acceptance of crypto is growing more mainstream–watch this space!
The SEC provisionally approves seven crypto businesses (mostly exchanges) to conduct operations in Thailand. Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (BX), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins Co. Ltd., Group Co. Ltd. (TDAX), and Coin Asset Co. Ltd are all under consideration for exchange licenses, Coins TH Co. Ltd., and Digital Coin Co. Ltd. are under consideration for dealer licenses. None have approval yet but are allowed to conduct business while approval or disapproval are pending.
Over 50 ICOs applied for a license but only 5 are considered ‘decision-ready’, highlighting the SEC’s scrupulous measures in ensuring that ICOs conducted in Thailand are legitimate and compliant with regulations. This also illustrates the lack of standards among those seeking to conduct ICOs.
As of May 14th 2018, the SEC enforces strict regulations that require businesses involved in the crypto space to apply for licenses.
New regulations come into effect on July 16th. They stipulate that ICOs must be purchasable with at least one of the following cryptos: Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Litecoin, Stellar, Ethereum Classic and Bitcoin Cash. They prohibit retail investors from buying over ฿300,000 worth of tokens, but permit institutional and high-net-worth investors to purchase an unlimited number of tokens.
Finally, all ICO portals must gain SEC approval and demonstrate a registered capital of at least ฿5 million.
The Royal Decree announced in March, to be enacted on May 14th, is revoked by the Ministry of Finance before that day arrives. This decision followed pressure from Thailand’s crypto entrepreneurs who complained that the new tax framework was too harsh.
The Cabinet of Thailand announces a Royal Decree, outlining the crypto taxation framework, requiring investors to pay 7% VAT on trades and 15% in capital gains.
The bull market causes a stir with the Thai authorities. The Ministry of Finance, Bank of Thailand, SEC, and Anti-Money Laundering Office deliberate over how to caution the public on the caveats of crypto investments. They show particular concern with the public being duped by Ponzi schemes or blowing their savings on volatile assets that aren’t considered legal tender; the BOT circulates a letter to the public.
1. ‘Bangkok Post, accessed 23rd October 2018.
2. Coin Telegraph, accessed 23rd October 2018.
4. BTC Manager, accessed 23rd October 2018.
6. CCN, accessed 23rd October 2018.
7. Bitcoinist, announced 23rd October 2018.