The Thai central bank doesn’t like cryptocurrencies, and major banks under their authority are prohibited from a number of actions. Even though the banks are uninterested in cryptos, the market still exists in Thailand, and regulators have taken note of the need for rules surrounding this economy.
Thai regulators draft two laws
The two laws currently being drafted in Thailand, governing the way that cryptocurrencies are taxed, and the way that exchanges track users. The Thai Minister of Finance, Apisak Tantivorawong, says that regulations for cryptos and ICOs will be enacted by April. The new laws grant the Thai SEC the governing jurisdiction over crypto-related enterprises.
Taxes and Identity: key to transparent trading
The first law is a revision of the Thai revenue code, specifically concerning the taxation of crypto holdings. Crypto holdings and any gains or losses associated with them will need to be declared. Also, ICOs and other crypto-related businesses will need to identify themselves and implement transparency in regards to where funds come from and go to. Finally, the Thai Revenue Department will collect 7% VAT and 15% tax withholding on cryptocurrencies and ICOs.
The second regulation will require that crypto operators implement a know-your-customer policy. Registration will require an actual name, and proof of identity. This measure is aimed at reducing money laundering and other fraud, or criminal activity. Crypto companies will have to disclose the names of buyers and sellers to the Anti Money-Laundering Office as part of compliance with the new laws.
Once the laws are in effect, existing operations will have six months to comply. New operations must comply from the outset.
Regulations, schmegulations: banks still have no interest in dealing with cryptos
The Bank of Thailand is not interested in working with crypto outfits, despite the new regulations. The Bank of Thailand expressly prohibited financial institutions under its jurisdiction from certain crypto-related activities, and has no interest in lifting these prohibitions.
Bangkok Bank and Krungthai Bank have both terminated crypto exchange-related accounts. Piyong Sriwanich, of Krungthai Bank, says that his institution does not work with or offer support to cryptocurrencies. He also has said that any account holder who invests in the digital currency will have their account immediately terminated.