Thailand’s deputy prime minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, has called for “more measures to control” cryptocurrencies - as they can potentially be used to finance terrorism or other illicit activities.
According to the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s authorities have implemented “several legal measures to prevent the misuse” of digital currencies. However, Krea-ngam said more regulations are required “to keep up with changing times and tactics.”
Crimes Involving Virtual Currencies Becoming More Sophisticated
While speaking at the 4th annual Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit held in Bangkok on November 7th, Krea-ngam noted that more needs to be done at the domestic and international level to prevent crypto-related scams and other fraudulent activities.
Krea-ngam, who earned his doctor of juridical science from University of California, Berkeley, emphasized that Thailand’s authorities need to constantly “update their knowledge” about digital currencies.
The minister added that the nation’s anti-money laundering and terrorism experts “should not be satisfied with their current understanding of cryptocurrencies.” Crimes involving virtual currencies are becoming more sophisticated, so Thailand’s authorities must remain vigilant at all times.
Krea-ngam also recommended: "The laws need to be amended in the future so that we can better keep up with technological changes."
Crypto Regulations Went Into Effect In May 2018
In May of 2018, a regulatory framework for digital currencies went into effect, and Thailand’s Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) was instructed to regulate the new asset class.
Companies or individuals selling cryptoassets must register with the Thai SEC within 90 days, and failure to do so may lead to the seller (or token issuer) being fined, in addition to other penalties such as serving time in jail.
As CryptoGlobe reported on October 28th, Thailand’s SEC had issued a warning regarding initial coin offerings (ICOs). The regulator had said there were several ICOs launched in the country and they may put investors at risk because they did not meet regulatory standards.
Professionals Lacking Knowledge
In early September, officials from Thailand’s Institute of Justice (TIJ) announced at a seminar that digital currency-related crimes would likely continue to rise. That’s because professionals working in the nation’s crypto sector did not have the in-depth knowledge required to tackle the criminal elements in the sector.
As covered, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) had issued a statement in August stating that the $24 million bitcoin fraud case involving 27-year-old Thai actor, Jiratpisit Jaravijit, was a “misuse of money” - and had nothing to do with actual “crypto trading.”
Notably, Thailand’s SEC legalized seven cryptocurrencies in June for initial coin offerings (ICOs). They include bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), ethereum classic (ETC), litecoin (LTC), stellar (XLM), and ripple (XRP).