Thailand's Cabinet Moves to Regulate and Tax Cryptocurrencies

NEWS
Wolfie Zhao
Mar 14, 2018 at 12:00 UTC  |  Updated  Mar 14, 2018 at 12:05 UTC

The Cabinet of Thailand, the executive branch of the country's government, has provisionally passed two royal decree drafts aimed at regulating cryptocurrencies, a report states.

The drafts – covering both cryptocurrency and initial coin offering transactions, as well as a possible tax on crypto capital gains – first received agreement from government ministers on Tuesday.

Before becoming law, the legislation must be further reviewed by the Council of State, an advisory body reporting to Thailand's prime minister on legislative matters, before being re-submitted to the cabinet for final approval. That could occur as early as next week, according to the Bangkok Post.

Additional feedback from various regulators in the country will also be taken into consideration upon approval in principle of the decrees, including the Ministry of Finance, the Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Anti-Money Laundering Office, the report says.

A royal decree is one form of legislation in Thailand, which sets rules on emergent issues that may concern public safety.

The latest legal effort comes amid rising illicit use of cryptocurrencies in money-laundering, crime and tax avoidance, Thailand's deputy prime minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, was quoted as saying

However, the deputy PM stressed that the intent is not to ban cryptocurrency activities, such as trading and initial coin offerings, but rather to establish formal rules to protect investors.

In addition, the second royal decree also aims to bring taxation on capital gains from cryptocurrency investments. The rate of the tax has yet to be determined, but is likely to range between 10 and 15 percent, according to the Post.

Previously, industry experts, through public consultation, have called for cryptocurrency rules to be implemented by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand.

To that effort, Wissanu also said in the report that the Finance Ministry and the SEC are also working on an additional organic law that would require cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers and dealers to register with the relevant authorities.

Thai government house image via Shutterstock

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