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Thai Deputy Prime Minister Calls for More Controls for Cryptocurrencies


The Deputy Prime Minister of Thailand Wissanu Krea-ngam has called for more regulations on cryptocurrencies, local news daily the Bangkok Post reports Nov. 8.

While Thailand introduced a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies earlier this year, Krea-ngam urged that new measures must be introduced both domestically and internationally in order to keep up with new tactics and threats to consumer security.

Speaking at the Counter-Terrorism Financing Summit, Krea-ngam said that experts should not be satisfied with current security protocols so as not to lag behind criminals that would use cryptocurrencies for funding terrorism or money laundering. He also noted the security challenges posed by the anonymous nature of some digital assets.

“The laws need to be amended in the future so that we can better keep up with technological changes,” Krea-ngam said.

In addition to forming a clear legal framework for crypto business, Thailand has also allowed its financial institutions enter the industry, albeit with some restrictions. In August, the Bank of Thailand (BoT) permitted local banks to set up subsidiaries for dealing with crypto business.

While Thai banks can issue digital tokens, provide crypto brokerage services, run crypto-related businesses, and invest in cryptocurrencies through subsidiaries, BoT reaffirmed that all banks and other financial institutions are still banned from direct dealing with cryptocurrencies.

Thailand has also embraced the blockchain technology that underlies cryptocurrencies. In October, the Thai MInistry of Commerce began to conduct feasibility studies for blockchain deployment in agriculture, trade finance and copyright. An official from Thailand’s Trade Policy and Strategy Office (TPSO), Pimchanok Vonkorpon said that the studies would also refer to processing digital IDs, IP registration management, and security, along with smart contracts.

Yesterday, the Thai Revenue Department announced that it plans to track tax payments using blockchain technology and machine learning. The Revenue Department’s director-general Ekniti Nitithanprapas said that blockchain will be used to verify the validity of taxes paid and to speed up the tax refund process. He said that machine learning would provide more transparency to the process and allow the department to more effectively detect tax fraud.

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