Just five days following circulating reports that Thailand allegedly changed its mind on bitcoin, we’re learning that their view on bitcoin may just have been misinterpreted.
It started when Thailand’s largest bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin Co. Ltd., sent a letter to the Bank of Thailand for clarity on regulation. The response indicated that the bitcoin exchange’s operation did not fall under the regulation of the Ministry of Finance. As such, the exchange opened their doors to trading.
But an official at the central bank has come forth and denied the exchange’s claims, noting that it has interpreted their response “to serve its own interests,” according to the Bangkok Post.
The official stated that the central bank’s response (which came in the form of a letter) indicated that bitcoin exchanges do not fall under Thai law — and therefore are not eligible to obtain appropriate licensing.
The Post continues:
The letter also stated that even though the company allows its customers to trade bitcoins only for baht, it could not prevent customers from exchanging bitcoins for foreign currencies either locally or abroad, so the business is involved with foreign currency exchange and falls under the Thailand Exchange Control Act of 1942.
That would suggest that a bitcoin exchange could not legally be run, putting Bitcoin Co. Ltd. in an awkward (and potentially risky) position.
In a statement to CoinDesk, managing director at the exchange, David Barnes, says operations at the exchange will continue — at least until a formal notice has been sent by the Bank of Thailand.
Such events have seemingly become commonplace in the bitcoin economy. With regulatory uncertainly, companies are finding themselves playing it by ear, at very least until clear-cut legislation outlines the dos and don’ts of operating a business in this landscape.