Thailand’s financial agencies have agreed that regulators cannot stop the use of cryptocurrencies within the country. The relevant ministries will meet and discuss the regulatory framework for digital currencies and initial coin offerings, which is expected to be finalized within a month.
Can’t Stop Crypto – Forced to Regulate
Thailand’s Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said on Thursday that “The government will not ban cryptocurrency trading,” the Bangkok Post reported, adding that “A regulatory framework to govern digital currencies will become clearer within a month.” At the “Thailand Takeoff 2018” seminar, he emphasized:
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.
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (TSEC), the Ministry of Finance, the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Office, and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) will soon meet to discuss this matter in detail, according to Thai Rath.
In addition, “Mr. Apisak said that the best authority to take care of digital currency is the [T]SEC, because the [T]SEC is responsible for the oversight of securities,” the news outlet wrote. The finance minister also indicated that the Bank of Thailand is not the appropriate organization to oversee cryptocurrencies since they are not recognized as legal tender.
The regulators are “currently drafting legislation to oversee and regulate the use of digital currency, [which is] expected to be finalized within 1 month,” Channel 7 reported.
The Thai government will also regulate ICOs. The finance minister asserted that if Thailand is to improve its fintech sector, it must be able to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Prachachat Turakij details.
Recently, a mobile distributor listed on the Thailand Stock Exchange (SET), Jaymart, announced plans to let its subsidiary, J Ventures, raise funds through an ICO. With a pre-sale in February and the official ICO in March, the company aims to raise 660 million baht (~USD$20.8 million) and will use the funds to “develop a decentralised digital lending platform” using blockchain technology, the Bangkok Post describes.
Finance permanent secretary Somchai Sujjapongse explained that the TSEC is taking responsibility for this matter and is conducting a public hearing on ICOs, the publication noted and quoted him saying:
There is no law governing ICOs, so Jaymart has not done anything wrong – but don’t cheat people.
Do you think the Thai government is taking the right approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Thai SEC.