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Thailand Begins Legal Process to Regulate and Tax Cryptocurrency

Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:05 PM
Samburaj Das
Last Updated March 4, 2021 5:05 PM

The cabinet of Thailand has principally approved two royal decree drafts aimed at regulating cryptocurrency transactions and imposing taxes on capital gains from crypto investments.

The Cabinet of Thailand, the government’s executive branch compromising of thirty-five of the country’s most senior members, has reportedly approved to royal decrees that will both cover cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) under its purview. In Thailand, a royal decree can be issued by the king or his council of ministers, or the Cabinet, where legislation is fast-tracked for purposes of public safety, economic stability and a handful of other factors.

According to the Bangkok Post , the effort to push legislation to foster a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies comes at the behest of Thai deputy prime minister Wissanu Krea-ngam telling the cabinet about the need to ‘comprehensively regulate’ cryptocurrencies and ICOs with a new law. The report points to the deputy prime minister citing concerns of crypto abuse in money laundering, tax evasion and other criminal activity.

Pointedly, however, the deputy prime minister instructed the cabinet that the newly proposed law isn’t meant to prohibit cryptocurrencies and their usage nor ICOs. Instead, the law proposing regulation is mean to safeguard adopters invested in cryptocurrencies, deputy PM Wissanu stressed.

Before its approval into law, the royal decree drafts must be reviewed and vetted by Thailand’s Council of State, a number of qualified law councilors with experience in areas including law, economics, social sciences and more.

The drafts will also be formally reviewed and discussed by the country’s financial authorities including the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Anti-Money laundering Office – jointly with the Council of State – as early as next week, as assigned by the cabinet.

Wissanu further revealed progress in working toward broader ‘organic laws’ by the Finance Ministry and the SEC wherein all digital asset transactions, including trades on cryptocurrency exchanges and those between brokers and dealers, will have to be registered with the relevant authorities. Cryptocurrencies, digital tokens issued through ICOs and other assets in the form of electronic data are all classified as digital assets by Thailand’s Finance Ministry.

The cabinet’s approval of the two draft decrees come within days of Thailand’s central bank governor confirming upcoming regulations for the cryptocurrency sector sometime in April.

Featured image of Thailand cabinet house from Shutterstock.