The blockchain wave caught many governments and regulators off-guard. It is a technology many regulators are yet to understand. Some governments have chosen not to interfere with blockchain operations while some have restricted their activities within their borders. Other countries are however studying blockchain to determine what value it could bring to their economy and how it could help transform lives. One such country is Thailand which is among the leading nations backing blockchain technology. It has been drawing up and implementing policies that guide on the use of blockchain within its borders. These policies are governed by the clear study of how blockchain technology, more so cryptocurrency, works.
This has seen the blockchain scene in Thailand flourish as investors find Thailand a favorable market to operate. Thailand’s policies have also impressed upon its people to accept blockchain as its advantages will benefit them. This article explores some of the policies Thailand has implemented and blockchain technology adoptions that have been taken or are being planned for in the country.
Interest In understanding Blockchain Technology
Most governments are still grappled with the question of whether cryptocurrencies are securities or not. This is mostly to blame for the slow progression of blockchain and cryptocurrency or lack thereof in countries such as the USA.
Thailand has however decided to skip this debate altogether and has come up with different laws that will satisfy to a greater extent the desires of the blockchain community and conservatives. Digital asset purists and moderates both have their different agenda. Purists want no regulation of blockchain and its associated innovations while conservatives want nothing to do with digital assets. Thailand saw past these views and came up with laws that strike a balance between these two extremes. The target of blockchain is to revolutionize the world through innovative services and products, and this requires a large-scale adoption of these technologies. Thailand, therefore, created laws that would see more people take up the use of cryptocurrency in their daily operations.
By understanding the scope of blockchain and the advantages it holds, Thailand was able to come up with a serious set of rules and regulations that would see the country benefit from this technology. This is the example that other countries should follow if they would want to exploit the advantages of blockchain, especially through cryptocurrencies.
The result of various consultations was the Digital Asset Business Decree which did not even undergo the full legislative process but was passed via emergency decree. This shows the need of regulation that the Thai government felt that could not wait long legislative processes as there was a lot at stake. Cryptocurrencies were therefore defined as both mediums of exchange and tokens which could even be used for investments in exchanges. As currencies they could be used for making payments for services or products and as tokens they could be used as tools for investors. The Thai government also reviewed its tax laws so that it can include proceeds made from the trade and use of cryptocurrencies in Thailand.
There is also willingness for regulators to sit down and exchange ideas with blockchain leaders for example; recently, there was a discussion between Vitali Buterin, the brains behind Ethereum, and the SEC in Thailand. Such openness is attractive to investors and holds Thailand in good light with the blockchain community.
The Essence of Regulation
As with all things, regulations are essential. They bring sanity, faith, confidence and trust in a system. Every industry has regulators for these very reasons otherwise little, or no good would come out of them. Some fraudulent ICO cases have been experienced in the past leading to massive losses for investors and contributors. Many projects have failed due to lack of proper regulations or they were fraudulent from the very beginning. Thailand had observed what was happening in other countries and what might happen to theirs and their citizens.
Regulations created by the Thai government and other regulators within Thailand are all geared towards making the cryptocurrency and more considerable blockchain experience favorable for all interested parties.
The implementation of these regulations saw the use of cryptocurrency come into life after a section of the top used cryptocurrency was approved for use through these regulations. Through these regulations, any digital asset that intended to be used in Thailand had to be pegged to the approved cryptocurrencies or fiat currencies. They are seven approved cryptocurrencies in Thailand, Bitcoin, Stellar, Ethereum, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum classic, Litecoin, and Ripple.
One of the effects of having clear and well-thought-out regulations is that it attracts all the right people. For example, in early July, one of the major exchanges in Korea relayed their intention to join the Thailand market after it acquired all the necessary documentation and even received a go-ahead by the Thai government to operate within its borders.
Another positive from the regulations implemented means that scammers can also be arrested, arraigned in court and tried for the crimes they may have committed. Recently, Thailand captured one of its citizens after it became clear that he had defrauded a Finnish investor BTC worth US$ 24 million. Such scenarios assure citizens and investor that their investments are safe as long as trading is done within the confinements of the regulations.