The last piece of Bitcoin news that people probably remember getting out of Thailand was when everyone thought they were the first country to ban the cryptocurrency. Although the official statement from the Foreign Exchange Administration was not actually a ban on the cryptocurrency, many people around the world understood that the statement about illicit activities related to Bitcoin was probably not good. It seems that regulation in Thailand is about to move in the opposite direction as the Bank of Thailand decided the operations of Bitcoin exchanges do not fall under their authority. Since bitcoins have not been declared as a foreign currency, there is nothing the Ministry of Finance can do about them or any other cryptocoin for now.
The Original "Ban"
In July of 2013, the Bank of Thailand sent a notice to the only Bitcoin exchange operating in the entire country. After a meeting with local regulators, Bitcoin.co.th decided to let the world know that their operations were basically suspended for the foreseeable future. The main issue that everyone brought up with the original so-called "ban" was that the Bank of Thailand did not actually have the authority to ban Bitcoin on their own.
The Future of Bitcoin in Thailand
For now, it seems that Bitcoin exchanges will be allowed to operate in Thailand. This definitely doesn't mean the regulatory environment will stay the same forever, but Bitcoin.co.th is able to buy and sell bitcoins for now. Like many other countries around the world, it seems the Bank of Thailand is going to take a "wait and see" approach to Bitcoin regulation. Russia seems to be the only country in the entire world that is ready to actually place a ban on the usage of bitcoins, and Thailand may decide to talk with other countries before they create some Bitcoin regulations of their own.
Last modified (UTC): February 15, 2014 7:28 PM