A royal decree to regulate cryptocurrency in Thailand came into force last week, according to the Bangkok Post.
The law, consisting of one hundred sections, defines cryptocurrency as digital assets which must be registered with the Securities Exchange Commission. Retailers of cryptocurrency in the country have 90 days (as of the 13th of May) to acquire a licence.
The punishment for selling cryptocurrency without a licence will be no more than twice the value of the transaction, with a minimum of 50,000 baht (approximately 1550 dollars). A two-year jail term is also a possibility.
Thailand has approached cryptocurrency regulation in a relatively measured way.
In February of this year, the Thai central bank instructed the country’s banks to refrain from doing business with cryptocurrency in any way, reaffirming that cryptocurrency is not considered legal tender in Thailand. Finance minister Apisak Tantivorawong said at the time that due to this conclusion, the bank is not the correct body to regulate the industry. At the same time, he accepted the entrance of cryptocurrency into the economy as inevitable.
“The government will not ban cryptocurrency trading. A regulatory framework to govern digital currencies will become clearer within a month. After a recent discussion, related agencies agreed that regulators cannot stop the use of virtual currencies but will have to regulate and control them in an appropriate manner,” he said.
Following this announcement, Thai Digital Asset Exchange, the country’s second-biggest cryptocurrency exchange, closed its doors to initial coin offerings for two weeks while awaiting regulation.
Working quickly, Tantivorawong announced a cryptocurrency tax framework in March – specifically, trades will incur a charge of 7 percent in VAT, and returns on investments will incur a 15 percent capital gains tax. The new regulations were approved by the cabinet in the same month. Before approval, the draft was modified to remove electronic data from the asset law, a move apparently made to protect investors.
Following this, the Stock Exchange of Thailand announced a new blockchain crowdfunding initiative called LiVE; reportedly, hundreds of companies are interested in signing up.