Thailand’s military government wants to regulate the nascent cryptocurrency market, and slap investors dabbling in digital coins with taxes to prevent the expanding sector from being used for money laundering, tax evasion, and other criminal activities.
The move was announced by Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong on Mar. 27 after a weekly cabinet meeting.
Under new laws to regulate cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, investors will have to pay 7% value added tax on all crypto trades, and a 15% capital gains tax on their returns.
The latest measures follow the Bank of Thailand’s ban in February on local banks investing and trading in cryptocurrencies. That move caused uncertainty among local investors.
Both interventions confirm the cautious and conservative influence that the country’s finance policy mandarins continue to exert.
Korn Chatikavanij, a former finance minister and chairman of the Thai Fintech Association, is not surprised by the finance ministry and Bank of Thailand being conservative.”But they have to be cautious not to allow their conservative instincts to result in draconian regulations,” Korn told the Nikkei Asian Review.
Thailand’s crypto businesses are grappling with other growing pains, and Thai entrepreneurs launching new companies by raising capital through initial coin offerings (ICOs) are tending to register their startups in more investment-friendly Singapore.
Six.network, a Thai-South Korean joint venture, is one example. The digital venture, a decentralized financial services platform, is registered in Singapore. On Mar. 27, it announced an ICO in Bangkok with digital tokens to raise $44 million.
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