Thailand is looking to enforce its own version of regulation regarding cryptocurrencies. That is much easier said than done, as this new form of money doesn’t adhere to existing guidelines. As was to be expected, the new regulations on cryptocurrencies and ICOs are rather strong. In fact, anyone violating these laws faces major fines and even jail sentences.
Thailand Means Business
Although the cryptocurrency regulation in Thailand may sound severe, it is not all that bad when people stick to the basic rules. Bitcoin and altcoins will not be banned, and trading will not be prohibited under any circumstances. That in itself is a pretty positive development, considering that China has taken a completely different approach in this regard. An all-out ban on cryptocurrency trading in Thailand was considered one of the many possibilities until this Monday.
The new rules state that both cryptocurrencies and digital tokens – such as those issued through ICOs – are considered digital assets. That brings a lot more legitimacy to this industry as a whole and serves as an important first step toward making ICO tokens, Bitcoin, and altcoins a lot more appealing to the general public. Whether or not this regulation will actually do so remains to be seen, but it is a positive approach nonetheless.
As one would expect, the Thai SEC will oversee these matters for the foreseeable future. Additionally, it will ensure that all users’ identities are verified in a proper, secure, and legal manner. This seemingly puts an end to anonymous cryptocurrency trading in Thailand, although that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Those users who prefer anonymity and privacy will have to look for new solutions moving forward, though.
The main purpose of classifying these currencies as digital assets is to curb money laundering, tax avoidance, and crime. Most people are well aware that ICO tokens and cryptocurrencies have a poor reputation globally, and that situation will not improve until all loopholes are eliminated. The Bank of Thailand had attempted to do so by simply banning all cryptocurrency transactions, although it seems that decision was since reversed.
Under the new royal decree, severe punishment will be enforced against anyone who attempts to engage in illicit behavior. Unregistered token brokers will need to register with the government or face a jail sentence of up to two years. Additionally, the government will impose fines of at least two times the value of the tokens in question, up to a maximum of 500,000 baht. Fraudulent filings will lead to a five-year jail term.
Surprisingly, the government is also cracking down on so-called account sharing. Anyone letting others use their accounts for transactions can be jailed for up to one year and face a major fine. There will also be a 15% digital gains tax on all transactions, which is the least favorable decision of them all. Even so, this is in line with a lot of other countries. This is an interesting development in Thailand, and one that seemingly benefits cryptocurrency as a whole.