Initially suspicious towards the industry, with the Bank of Thailand issuing a circular asking financial institutions to refrain from doing any business involving cryptocurrencies while the government implemented temporary measures to protect cryptocurrency investors, Thailand now seems set to become a blockchain hub in the heart of South-East Asia.
In March 2018, the Cabinet approved drafts of two Royal Decrees, one to regulate digital currencies, including cryptocurrencies, transactions, and ICOs, and the other to amend the Revenue Code to collect capital gains taxes on cryptocurrencies (81). The Decrees require all digital asset transactions, including those of digital asset exchanges, brokers, and dealers, to be registered with the relevant authorities.
Now in 2019, the Thai government has come to adopt an even more liberal and progressive stance towards cryptocurrencies. In a bid to allow blockchain-based securities to be issued and traded in the country, the National Legislative Assembly approved an amendment to the Securities and Exchange Act legalising the scripless securities issuance and tokenised securities via blockchain technology. The amendment will also allow businesses to be licensed to operate as depositories of securities and digital tokens. The nation’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is likely to issue detailed guidelines and rules for tokenised and electronic securities in order to provide legal clarity. This is because whether a security token offering will be regulated under the royal decree or the securities act is likely be decided by the SEC. It “will depend on features of rights and obligations associated with that token,” said Pariya Techamuanvivit, director of corporate communication department at the SEC.