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Thailand Open To Cryptocurrency
While fake news of a complete ban in India sparked off the self-perpetuating slide yesterday. Some countries remain fully open to crypto and Thailand at the moment is among them.
According to reports in local media a crypto committee is expected to clarify its stance on how to regulate digital currencies within the Southeast Asian nation this month. As in South Korea, again where there has been no ban, Thailand aims to safeguard against fraudulent activities and duplicitous investments.
Finance permanent secretary Somchai Sujjapongse told media;
“Allowing bitcoin transactions to be made without warnings and direction from regulators is not acceptable,”
The triumvirate is in the process of setting up a working panel to tackle the issue of regulation. Somchai went on to say;
“The working panel must work more rapidly over the next month to inform regulators on how to handle bitcoin. However, it is not correct to consider blockchain harmful if we do not prefer… bitcoin, as blockchain technology can create benefits. We can reap benefit from using blockchain technology.”
Again loosely translated this means that there will be no ban but a little more regulation which is essentially what most governments want. Only China and Vietnam have banned trading in the region. It is likely that Thailand will coordinate with other countries on how to tackle cryptocurrency regulation.
Meanwhile, officials at Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) have revealed that a recently-performed study on investment capital in ICOsshows that 95 percent of those projects will fail. The remaining 5 percent, however, were found to generate a significant profit. According to the SEC, high-risk, high-failure-rate investments (such as these crowdfunded token offerings), require government oversight.
SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul expressed that it is difficult to assess the failure rates of startups engaging in token offerings, because they can be thrown off-course by changes in technology, and have no established history of success:
"The SEC has proposed a balanced regulatory framework for ICOs. We will open a specific ICO track called 'investment participation'. But first the scheme needs to be approved at the government level [by the Finance Ministry] to supervise digital currencies and the direction of the regulatory framework."
Other Countries Stand On Cryptocurrency
Currently Japan and Singapore are the two most liberal countries in Southeast Asia towards crypto trading. South Korea simply cannot make its mind up. Every week another threat or warning emerges yet citizens are still trading freely.
Ministers in India yesterday stated that cryptos would not be allowed for illegal activities and that the government;
“will take all measures to curb the use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or any part of payment systems,”
Contrary to the FUDfest that spewed out of mainstream media following the speech, Indian citizens are still trading cryptocurrencies.
Although Thailand's measures may curtail some investments, Rapee acknowledged it would be difficult to cap it off completely, thanks to secondary marketplaces.
"The regulations may limit retail investors in the primary market, but will be unable to do such a thing in practice, as they could invest in ICOs from the secondary market, which has a higher cost [than] the primary market," said Rapee.