Thailand’s Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Call For Tax Guidelines Revamp

  • Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Thailand are looking to get the Finance Ministry to rethink or delay taxing cryptocurrency tranactions.
  • They hope a revamp will help ensure cryptocurrency startups continue to sue the country, instead of flocking to crypto-friendly nations.

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Thailand, a country that’s set to tax crypto investments, are reportedly fighting for the country’s Finance Ministry to rethink or delay applying taxes to cryptocurrency investments, to keep projects developing within the country.

As recently reported, Thailand’s Finance Minister recently revealed it’s set to tax cryptocurrency trades with a 7 percent value-added tax (VAT), while taxing returns with a 15 percent capital gains tax. The move, according to the Bangkok Post, saw various crypto enthusiasts in the country demand a rethink.

Their goal is to get the country’s Revenue Department to consider changing the tax policy so it benefits the cryptocurrency ecosystem. According to Thuntee Sukchotrat, the CEO of local cryptocurrency exchange JIBEX, a revamp could ensure greater competitiveness compared to other local markets.

Per his words, taxes can be an obstacle for startups trying to raise funds through initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country. Sukchotrat further revealed cryptocurrency wallet services need to apply for a license with the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) if they don’t use baht, the country’s fiat currency, to trade cryptos.

Moreover, wallets using baht are required to have a minimum registered capital of 200 million (about $6.4 million), and apply for a license with the Bank of Thailand, the country’s central bank. He added:

"I think that financial and investment literacy will be the most important factor for investor protection. While startups and technology companies [should be able to] raise funds from the Thai market, otherwise we will lose good ICO transactions to other markets.

Thuntee Sukchotrat

Sukchotrat noted that if regulations are too rigid, investors will simply use global cryptocurrency exchanges, where they can trade without having to worry about tax obligations. As covered, some ICO operators and investors in the area flock to Singapore for its crypto-friendly regulations.

Per the exchange’s chef executive, only a handful of small-scale ICOs and investors will keep investing in Thailand if rigid regulations are imposed. Bhume Bhumiratana, a technology consultant at the SEC and the country’s Fintech Association noted that:

• "Tax collection should align with specific assets because digital tokens differ in terms of asset value. It is hoped that the Finance Ministry and the Revenue Department will consider issuing another law to delay the implementation of digital asset tax."

Bhume Bhumiratana

In its report, the Bangkok Post revealed the SEC’s regulatory framework will see ICO operators, cryptocurrency exchanges, brokerage firms, and those operating cryptocurrency wallet services apply for licenses with the regulator. ICO operators will, in fact, have to inform it before their token sales.

Crypto-Friendly Digital Bank Revolut Raises $500 Million at $5.5 Billion Valuation

Francisco Memoria

The cryptocurrency-friendly digital bank Revolut has raised $500 million in a Series D round of funding that’s valuing the company at $5.5 billion. Over the years, Revolut raised $836 million.

According to TechCrunch, the venture capital firm TCV is leading the round and other existing investors are also participating in it. Revolut hasn’t shared the names of these firms, but DST Global, Index Ventures, and Balderton Capital have all invested in the firm.

Revolut is a digital bank that’s seemingly looking to help replace traditional bank accounts with an app that helps users manage their finances. Using the Revolut app it’s possible to send, spend, and receive money. It also issues a debit card for its users.

The fintech firm has added various features, including the ability to buy stocks or invest in cryptocurrencies. In March 2019, as CryptoGlobe reported, it started offering stop orders for trading major cryptos like BTC, ETH, XRP, LTC, and BCH.

The $500 million are set to be used to improve the user experience for Revolut’s 10 million users, as well as its revenue. Specifically, the digital bank is looking to offer its users lending services, and it has already started doing so as in the U.K. it offers savings vaults. Nik Storonsky, Revolut’s co-founder and CEO, said:

Going forward, our focus is on rolling-out banking operations in Europe, increasing the number of people who use Revolut as their daily account, and striving towards profitability.

While the firm doesn’t share specific number when it comes to its transaction volumes or customers, TechCrunch reports its number of users grew by 169% in 2019, while daily active customers grew by 380% in the same period.

Revolut is currently available in the U.K., Europe, Singapore, and Australia. It’s focusing on launching in the U.S. and Japan.

Featured image via Pixabay.