Značka: Thailand

Crypto taxation could deter investors, says Thai ruling party MP

Thailand’s Committee on Monetary Affairs, Finance, Financial Institutions and Financial Market conducted a virtual meeting to discuss various aspects of crypto taxation.The ruling party MP Watanya Wongopasi posted a summary of the discussion on her Facebook page and urged the Excise department to do their due diligence before imposing any tax on the crypto trading market.In the meeting, Paiboon Nalinthrangkurn, the chairman of the Federation of Thai Capital Market Organisations noted that a tax on stock trading and digital asset trading could decrease market liquidity by 40%. He also warned that heavy taxation would deter foreign and small investors from trading.Yutthana Srisavat, the CEO and founder of iTax proposed a corporate tax or a value-added tax instead of imposing a trading tax. He also made it clear that the decentralized nature of crypto makes it extremely difficult to gather buyer and seller information, making it near impossible to collect tax information.The Thai Excise department noted that the majority of its focus has been on taxing the stock market, and it has made little progress in terms of crypto trading taxation. However, the department assured that they are carefully studying the crypto market and the taxes will be only imposed after careful consideration.Chonladet Khemarattana, president of the Thai Fintech Association advocated for a free market to compete with other nations. He urged the government to monitor the growth of the crypto ecosystem in the short term before moving on with tax implementation.Related: Former Thai SEC chief lays out three critical issues with crypto taxationsCrypto taxation has become a hot topic in Thailand especially after the government proposed a 15% tax on crypto gains. Several current and former executives have come out to warn against the proposal, including former Thai SEC executive Tipsuda Thavaramara. As Cointelegraph reported earlier, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed the revenue department to offer clarification for investors and the public on crypto taxation soon. 

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Binance eyes Thailand for latest crypto exchange expansion

Binance is looking to re-establish crypto exchange services and possibly open a new branch in Thailand after signing an agreement with Gulf Energy Development PCL.Gulf Energy Development PCL is a Thai holding company run by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi that focuses on the energy sector.Gulf Energy reportedly made the agreement with the world’s largest crypto exchange based on the strong assumption that Thailand’s digital economy infrastructure will see “rapid growth” in the next few years. The cooperative efforts between Gulf Energy, Binance, and the Thai government will be focused on exploring Binance’s options in the Thai market, which may include opening an exchange and related businesses in the Kingdom. A spokesperson for Binance told Reuters on Jan. 17, “Our goal is to work with government, regulators and innovative companies to develop the crypto and blockchain ecosystem in Thailand.”The Thai digital economy is poised to see greater regulatory clarity for digital asset traders. The director-general for the Thai government’s Revenue Department made regulatory transparency a top priority this month after announcing a planned 15% capital gains tax on crypto trades on Jan. 6.On Jan. 9, the Thai Digital Asset Association requested clarification on the specifics of the tax based on concerns from domestic traders that they may unintentionally violate the tax code.Despite the positive developments, Thailand’s central bank has repeatedly issued warnings to commercial banks and local businesses over accepting cryptocurrencies as payments.Related: Former Thai SEC chief lays out three critical issues with crypto taxationsBinance was on the receiving end of a criminal complaint from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in July 2021. The complaint accused Binance of operating a digital asset business without a license and opened an investigation against the exchange. The SEC stated that Binance ignored warnings from as far back as April 2021, and had wrongfully granted Thai citizens access to crypto trading on its website by “matching orders or arranging for the counterparties or providing the system or facilitating entry into an agreement.”

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From tuk tuks to COVID tests, YouTuber tests Bitcoin use cases across multiple countries

A YouTuber started a journey in September to see whether he could survive solely on Bitcoin as a means of payment while traveling to 40 different countries.Speaking to Cointelegraph on Monday, YouTuber Paco De La India — or “Paco from India” — said though the spread of omicron had somewhat altered his original travel plans, he was still surprised at how many people had accepted Bitcoin (BTC) in countries where crypto was in a legally or regulatory grey area. Beginning his journey in the Indian city of Bengaluru, Paco sold his belongings in September 2021 and mostly relied on BTC donations to fund his trip — which, so far, has taken him across India, the United Arab Emirates, Thailand, and Cambodia.The YouTuber, who said he preferred to use non-custodial wallets and Lightning for BTC transactions, originally planned to visit 40 countries for 10 days each, but COVID restrictions had somewhat altered his itinerary. Paco is working around mandatory quarantines, many countries’ requirements for tourists to stay within their borders for at least 14 days, and additional costs for polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests.Paco, speaking from Siem Reap, CambodiaAccording to Paco, two people conducting his COVID test in India for travel to the UAE accepted BTC in lieu of fiat rupees without hesitation. In addition, he was able to negotiate with test takers in Thailand for a PCR test to travel to Cambodia. The YouTuber attributed part of the reason behind the acceptance of crypto payments to officials more concerned with verifying vaccine certificates than COVID tests.“At the end of the day, it’s a piece of paper,” said Paco. “It’s just a piece of paper which is no way possible to verify. The only thing that they’re checking right now is the vaccine, because of the QR code.” Related: Cryptocurrency Adoption: How Can Crypto Change the Travel Industry?Though many countries have announced plans to verify the authenticity of COVID-19 test results using blockchain technology, there does not seem to be an international standard for immigration officials to recognize tests conducted in foreign nations. For example, travelers flying to the United States are required to complete a rapid COVID test within 24 hours of arrival, but not all health passport apps recommended by U.S. airlines can recognize QR codes provided by foreign testing centers.In addition to COVID tests, Paco said he had been able to survive on Bitcoin as a method of payment often by sheer chance, never forcing crypto on an unsuspecting party and surprised at how many random vendors were open to it. According to the YouTuber, he had been forced to avoid most public transportation in these four countries and use his debit card to fuel his bike, but was connecting with more people on the ground.[embedded content]“Thailand is super crypto-friendly,” said Paco. “Cambodia is another [super friendly] place. UAE, it looks like that but I feel it’s just between the richest people.” He added:“I have changed my approach a lot. I’ve gone more from talking to the old people who have already lived their life to finding young people who are really tech savvy […] They’re really curious about [Bitcoin]. It’s always: they want to make money. Everyone just looks at Bitcoin as making money.”

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Crypto trades in Thailand now reportedly subject to 15% capital gains tax

The government of Thailand is progressing in regulating the local cryptocurrency ecosystem by reportedly enacting new tax rules for the industry.Profits from crypto trading in Thailand are now subject to a 15% capital gains tax, The Bangkok Post news agency reported Thursday.The Thai Revenue Department also plans to step up its monitoring duties following a booming digital asset market last year. The department has the authority to collect taxes from crypto trades as profits from such activity are considered assessable income under Section 40 of the Royal Decree amending Revenue Code No.19, the report stated.The finance ministry recommended investors to calculate and report their income from cryptocurrencies in tax declarations in 2022 to avoid legal penalties. The new tax will be collected from all taxpayers who gained profits from crypto, including trading and mining operations.On the other hand, cryptocurrency exchanges are reportedly exempt from new tax requirements.Akalarp Yimwilai, co-founder and CEO at major local exchange Zipmex Thailand, raised concerns about the ongoing uncertainty regarding the crypto tax reporting process and how to calculate profits.“Tax methods and calculations should be more concise, clear and easy to understand. Many people I know want to pay taxes, but don’t know how to calculate them,” Akalarp said.Related: Crypto mining reportedly rises in Thailand due to Chinese crypto banThe new report comes in line with the Thai government’s plans to define “red lines” for crypto in early 2022. Bank of Thailand governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput officially announced in mid-December that the central bank was planning to release new regulations specific to the crypto industry early this year.As previously reported by Cointelegraph, financial authorities in Thailand have been considering legislation to collect a 15% capital gains tax on crypto since at least March 2018.

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Crypto mining reportedly rises in Thailand due to Chinese crypto ban

Retail cryptocurrency mining in Thailand has apparently received a boost due to the capitulation of Chinese miners triggered by the country’s new crypto mega ban enforced in September.Thai entrepreneurs and cryptocurrency businesses have been increasingly capitalizing on Chinese miners getting rid of their crypto mining machines, Al Jazeera reported Wednesday.“The moment China banned crypto, we were ecstatic,” one Thai-based Bitcoin (BTC) enthusiast and turned miner said.The miner, who asked to remain anonymous, claimed to have set up a small solar-powered crypto mining unit for about $30,000. “I made it all back in three months,” he said.Another industry entrepreneur, Pongsakorn Tongtaveenan, started a reseller business for crypto mining devices in Thailand, reportedly selling hundreds of Chinese application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) miners to small local investors.According to Pongsakorn, the price of ASICs like the Bitmain Antminer SJ19 Pro collapsed 30% due to the Chinese miner exit before returning to normal amid the growing local demand.Pongsakorn believes that the increasing popularity of retail crypto mining in Thailand is triggered by people looking for a stable income during the pandemic as well as investors getting more optimistic about the future of digital assets.“Bitcoin is the gold of the digital world. But a mining rig is like gold mining stocks: you’re paid dividends according to the gold price,” he said.Thailand is not the only country whose crypto mining development has benefited from China’s crypto miners’ exit. Countries like the United States, Kazakhstan and Russia have seen a massive influx of new crypto mining operations due to the Chinese crypto crackdown.Related: Thailand to define ‘red lines‘ for crypto in early 2022The growing popularity of crypto mining in Thailand comes in line with the booming local cryptocurrency adoption, with the turnover at several local crypto exchanges surging to $6.6 million in November 2021 from just $538 million last year.The institutional demand for crypto in Thailand has been notably growing as well. In early November, Thailand’s oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, paid $537 million to buy a 51% stake in BitKub, Thailand’s biggest crypto exchange.

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IMF chief economist calls for global policy on cryptocurrency

Gita Gopinath, the chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has called for a global policy to be put in place that will regulate cryptocurrency, instead of banning it.Pitching for a global policy, Gopinath, who will soon take charge as the deputy managing director of the IMF, argued that if countries were to ban crypto then they would not have any control over offshore exchanges that are not subject to their country’s regulations, which could result in them being ignored completely. “There are challenges to banning it whether you can end up with truly banning crypto because many exchanges are offshore and they are not subject to regulations of a particular country,” Gopinath said at an event organized by the National Council of Applied Economic Research.Gita’s remarks come as nations around the world consider how to control cryptocurrencies. As Cointelegraph reported in September, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) officially unveiled a series of new measures to combat crypto adoption in China, including enhancing inter-departmental cooperation in suppressing crypto activity. Earlier this month, the Russian central bank officially prohibited mutual funds from investing in Bitcoin (BTC).Related: India to regulate, not ban, crypto: Cabinet documentsIn India, the government is seeking cabinet approval for a bill that would regulate cryptocurrencies. The official Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2021 was expected to be presented during Parliament’s Winter Session, but top government sources indicated that optimism is slim.In the United Kingdom, members of Parliament have urged the Financial Conduct Authority to limit cryptocurrency firms’ usage of the words “invest” and “investment” for marketing purposes. The advertising watchdog in the U.K. has since issued several rulings on ad violations involving six crypto-related firms including Coinbase, Kraken, eToro, Exmo, crypto broker Coinburp and Luno crypto exchange.

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Thailand to define ‘red lines‘ for crypto in early 2022

The government of Thailand is preparing a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) in order to minimize risks and improve investor protection.The Bank of Thailand (BoT) will release a consultation paper in January that will define “red lines” for the crypto industry, governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said in a Dec. 14 interview with The Bangkok Post.“We want to ensure that we strike the right balance between allowing financial innovation and managing risks,” the official stated. The new rules will provide adequate safeguards for consumers as “risks are under-appreciated” currently, Sethaput said.The central bank is cooperating with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission and the finance ministry to point out restrictions specific to the crypto industry. For example, “cryptocurrencies cannot become a means of payment,” Sethaput noted.The governor emphasized that, despite local authorities potentially recognizing digital assets as an investment product, their extreme volatility poses risks to the financial system. Authorities will also collaborate to adopt proper safeguards for future financial securities, he added.Related: Thai lawmakers urged to approve tourism crypto to entice digital nomadsThailand’s plans to enact new rules for cryptocurrencies come amid booming local cryptocurrency adoption. According to the report, the turnover at seven locally licensed crypto exchanges surged to 221 billion baht ($6.6 billion) in November 2021 from 18 billion baht ($538 million) a year earlier.In early December, the Thai central bank warned commercial banks against “direct involvement” in trading cryptocurrencies, citing their high volatility and potential risks.

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Central bank tells Thai banks not to offer crypto trading

The Bank of Thailand has stated that it does not want commercial banks to be directly involved in the trading of crypto assets.The edict came from central bank senior director Chayawadee Chai-Anant on Dec. 7 who cited risks associated with high price volatility.”We don’t want banks to be directly involved in digital asset trading because banks are (responsible) for customer deposits and the public and there is risk.”The latest round of central bank suppression of digital assets comes at a time when commercial banks have been making investments in local cryptocurrency exchanges, according to a Bangkok Post report.In early November, Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) announced that it was acquiring a 51% stake in the country’s largest crypto exchange, Bitkub. In late August, the Zipmex crypto exchange raised $1.3 billion in funding from the country’s fifth-largest lender, Bank of Ayudhya.The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has taken an increasingly tougher stance against digital assets despite their growing popularity in the country among individuals, companies, and banks.Last week, BoT senior director Sakkapop Panyanukul warned businesses about accepting crypto, stating: “If other currencies are widely used, it will impact the central bank’s ability oversee the economy.” Referring to tokens not backed by assets, he labeled them as “blank coins.”The central bank has also expressed concern over the use of cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services. In a related report on Dec. 8, Chai-Anant commented that digital assets could be detrimental to merchants and consumers because they are “associated with high price volatility and risks of cyber theft, personal data leakage, and money laundering.”“If digital assets become widely used as a means of payment for goods and services, such risks could affect payment system stability, financial stability, and consumer protection.”Related: Thai lawmakers urged to approve tourism crypto to entice digital nomadsThe BoT warnings come just a fortnight after the Kingdom’s tourism ministry ramped up its efforts to encourage the crypto-rich to visit the country. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has declared the country “crypto-friendly” but clearly, the central bankers don’t want it to be too friendly.Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on the tourism industry which has been battered during the pandemic. Much of the Kingdom remains in lockdown with very few arrivals at the time of writing despite efforts to lure crypto nomads and the like to a country where the central bank doesn’t want them using digital currencies.

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