The Thai government is finally going to take steps to regulate the cryptocurrency market in the country. In recent years, the state has become a hotbed for local bitcoin companies in what can best be described as a sandbox environment. Throughout the emergence the cryptocurrency market in the country, there has always been the question of the sort of approach that the government will employ concerning regulating the industry.
The Financial Regulatory Narrative in Thailand
It appears the country’s ambivalent stance is at an end as the Thai Deputy Prime Minister, Somkid Jatusripitak has called for the necessary laws that will regulate the cryptocurrency market in Thailand to be passed within the month.
In February 2018, BTCManager reported that the ICO regulations were imminent in Thailand.
Both the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (TSEC) as well as the Stock Exchange body have been collaborating to prepare a comprehensive legal framework to regulate the ICO market in Thailand.
An important part of the process of establishing regulatory measures to prevent fraud, according to the country’s SEC, has also been striving to stimulate growth in the market.
Two years prior, BTCManager reported that the Bank of Thailand was creating a regulatory sandbox for the emerging fintech market.
One of the essential aims of that move was also to ensure best practices in the industry while not affecting the growth of fintech companies.
Regulating the Thai Cryptocurrency Market
According to the news outlet Thai Rath, a unique set of laws to regulate the cryptocurrency market in Thailand were being formulated. This announcement was made known by the Secretary-General of TSEC, Rapee Sucharitakul.
The Secretary-General said that a number of committees were working on a regulatory framework to govern all areas of the cryptocurrency market.
Sucharitakul also revealed that the TSEC would be in charge of overseeing the regulation of the crypto market in the country.
The country’s Minister of Finance, Aphisak Tantiworawong also told reporters that the government is also considering a tax framework for the cryptocurrency market.
The Minister revealed that the Depart of Revenue already has four units carrying out independent studies on how to go about taxing the cryptocurrency market.
The four groups involved are the Ministry of Finance, the Anti-Money Laundering office, the Bank of Thailand, and TSEC.
No Need for “Section 44”
When the talk of an imminent cryptocurrency regulation first came up in Thailand, there were fears that “section 44” would be used to regulate the market immediately.
Allaying these fears, the deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-Ngam under General Prayut Chan-o-cha, told reporters on March 9, 2018, said that the infamous “section 44” was not required.
He went on to state that standard procedures will be followed while drafting the crypto regulations.
Section 44 is a controversial section of the interim Thai constitution that was created by the junta government of Thailand in 2014. It gives the Prime Minister absolute powers to make binding, final decisions on matters of state.