A regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies has come into effect by royal decree in Thailand. The 100-section law, published yesterday in the country’s Royal Gazette, defines cryptocurrencies as «digital assets and digital tokens», and brings them under the regulatory jurisdiction of the Thai Security Exchange Commission (SEC).
According to Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong, the new measures are not intended to ban cryptocurrencies or Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The Finance Minister’s position reiterates that of the country’s SEC, which has been broadly supportive of ICOs, as long as they are regulated.
After the royal decree has come into force, sellers of digital assets or tokens must register with the SEC within 90 days. Failure to do so carries a penalty of up to twice the value of the unauthorized digital transaction, or at least 500 000 baht (around $15 700). Noncompliant sellers could also face a jail sentence of up to 2 years.
The Finance Ministry and SEC will now expand the framework and require all domestic cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as independent crypto brokers and dealers, to register with relevant authorities as stipulated by the royal decree.
Apisak Tantivorawong outlined that the measures focus on investor protection, as well as preventing the use of cryptocurrencies for criminal activities, money laundering and tax avoidance.