Government and regulatory chatter on cryptos continue to flood the crypto news wires at the turn of the year.
Crypto exchange activity has also been on the rise, as adoption surges and NFTs and the Metaverse draw greater investor interest.
Overnight, news hit the wires of Binance (BNB) entering into an agreement with Thai company Gulf Energy Development PLC to launch a digital asset exchange. The latest move comes in spite of a pending criminal complaint against Binance.
Thailand and the Crypto Market
A number of nations within the region have taken a more crypto friendly stance. These include Japan and South Korea, where crypto adoption is high.
Thailand is also considered crypto friendly, with the Bank of Thailand (BoT) holding back from imposing an outright ban on cryptos. Recently, however, bans on meme coins and NFTs have been rolled out.
Additionally, the government has just announced plans of a 15% capital gains tax on crypto trading profits. The capital gains tax reportedly relates to investors and mining operators but not to digital asset exchanges. It is also worth noting that the BoT is making strong progress towards a central bank digital currency (CBDC).
According to CBDC Tracker, the Bank of Thailand is in the proof-of-concept stage for its Ithanon-LionRock CBDC. Other central banks in the proof-of-concept stage include the Hong Kong’s HKMA, the Bank of Japan, the Reserve Bank of Australia, and the Bank of Korea.
Divided Views on Crypto Taxation
While some will view the 15% capital gains tax as crypto friendly, not all agree. News hit the wires this week of former Thailand SEC Deputy Secretary General Tipsuda Thavaramara disagreeing with the crypto tax plans. The former Deputy Secretary General noted that countries including Australia, Singapore, and some EU member states have removed VAT on trading and don’t treat cryptos as a product.
Late last year, news had hit the wires of Thailand’s finance officers planning to create a regulatory framework to minimize the risks of cryptos to the financial network and investors. The BoT’s concerns are aligned with those of the Bank of England and the IMF.
According to the late December report, the Bank of Thailand will introduce crypto regulations soon.
Thailand and Crypto Adoption and Mining
According to the University of Cambridge, Thailand had accounted for 0.99% of Bitcoin’s global hashrate as at August 2021.
More significantly, crypto adoption in Thailand has been on the rise. According to Chainalysis, worldwide adoption jumped over 880% in 2021. Thailand ranked 12th out of 154 in crypto adoption in 2021, one place ahead of China.