Industry

Thailand Crypto Committee to Clarify Stance, Stricter Regulation

Martin Young | February 2, 2018 | 8:00 am
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Industry

Thailand Crypto Committee to Clarify Stance, Stricter Regulation

Martin Young | February 2, 2018 | 8:00 am

Asia seems to be leading the big crypto selloff at the moment. Fake news of a complete ban in India sparked off the self-perpetuating slide yesterday. There was no ban but mainstream media won again by disseminating more FUD. Some countries remain fully open to crypto and Thailand at the moment is among them.

According to reports in local media a crypto committee is expected to clarify its stance on how to regulate digital currencies within the Southeast Asian nation this month. As in South Korea, again where there has been no ban, Thailand aims to safeguard against fraudulent activities and duplicitous investments.

Direction needed

Finance permanent secretary Somchai Sujjapongse told media;

“Allowing bitcoin transactions to be made without warnings and direction from regulators is not acceptable,” 

There could have been something lost in translation with this quote. The real motives from The Bank of Thailand, Finance Ministry, and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are to issue warnings about the risk of trading unregulated digital assets.

The triumvirate is in the process of setting up a working panel to tackle the issue of regulation. Somchai went on to say;

“The working panel must work more rapidly over the next month to inform regulators on how to handle bitcoin. However, it is not correct to consider blockchain harmful if we do not prefer… bitcoin, as blockchain technology can create benefits. We can reap benefit from using blockchain technology.” 

Again loosely translated this means that there will be no ban but a little more regulation which is essentially what most governments want. Only China and Vietnam have banned trading in the region. It is likely that Thailand will coordinate with other countries on how to tackle cryptocurrency regulation.

Regional influence

Currently Japan and Singapore are the two most liberal countries in Southeast Asia towards crypto trading. South Korea simply cannot make its mind up. Every week another threat or warning emerges yet citizens are still trading freely, albeit using their own names now since anonymous accounts have been banned.

Ministers in India yesterday stated that cryptos would not be allowed for illegal activities and that the government;

“will take all measures to curb the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or any part of payment systems,” 

Contrary to the FUDfest that spewed out of mainstream media following the speech, Indian citizens are still trading cryptocurrencies.

Thailand currently only has one crypto exchange, BX Thailand, which lists 11 digital currencies for trade in fiat and several others for trade in crypto. It has a daily trade volume of around $16 million.

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