The Royal Family of Thailand has recently announced a regulatory framework that will outline cryptocurrencies and how they will be governed within the country. An important vote of confidence from the ruler, the new laws which consist of 100 different sections, were published in Thailand’s Royal Gazette and define cryptocurrency as both “digital assets and digital tokens”. Cryptocurrencies will now fall under the jurisdiction of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
New laws designed to encourage growth
The SEC and the country’s finance minister, Apisak Tantivorawong have come out in support of cryptocurrencies and ICOs and the new laws are designed to encourage the future growth and development of the space. Providing clear legal guidelines for the sector will not only protect all involved stakeholders but it will promote further expansion and innovation.
As the royal decree becomes official, any entity that wishes to sell digital assets or tokens is obliged to register with the SEC within the following 90 days. Anyone that fails to do so could end up with a hefty fine that totals up to twice the value of any unauthorised transaction, or a minimum of $15,700. Anyone that tries to play the system and deliberately falls foul of the law could find themselves facing up to two years in prison.
All cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, and dealers that operate within the country are required to register with the authorities in a move that is designed to both protect investors and to ensure that crypto isn’t used for money laundering, tax evasion, or other criminal activities.
This framework was first announced in March and since then it has gone through a range of changes. Before the laws, there was a rather high level of apprehension on the part of Thailand’s central bank which has subsequently banned all domestic banks from facilitating cryptocurrency trading or investments. There were widespread concerns within the Thai crypto community that the banks and government would outlaw all forms of cryptocurrency completely. ICOs and related activity had already become banned entirely and ICO trading was banned by the Thai Digital Asset Exchange in February for the same reasons although normal trading was allowed.
In Thailand, cryptocurrency assets are already subject to taxation such as a 7% VAT on trades and a 15% capital gains tax on all crypto-related returns.