Bank of Thailand: Bitcoin may or may not be illegal

Home » Bank of Thailand: Bitcoin may or may not be illegal


Last week, the Bank of Thailand issued a statement reversing its previous stance that trading in Bitcoin violated national law. This announcement prompted Thailand’s only Bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin Co Ltd, to resume trading in baht, the national currency. Yesterday, Thailand’s central bank issued a new statement that effectively reverses their last stance, once again calling Bitcoin’s legality into question.

According to the Bangkok Post, the most recent letter from the Bank of Thailand states that Bitcoin exchanges do not fall under any existing Thai law. As such, Bitcoin Co Ltd is not eligible for a license to operate in Thailand. That said, the bank claims that such transactions in foreign currency do fall under an existing law, the Thailand Exchange Control Act of 1942. “Hence, the company cannot operate that kind of business,” the letter concludes.

Speaking with CoinDesk, Bitcoin Co Ltd managing director David Barnes said that his company has not received any formal notification from the Bank of Thailand or other regulators in the country. “We plan to continue operations as normal,” Barnes said about the company’s future plans.

Also cited in the CoinDesk report was Bitcoin Thailand’s Frankie Bishop, who expressed little surprise at the seemingly conflicting statements from officials.

Bishop said that the BoT has effective implied that bitcoin “does not fit anywhere”, under current Thai law, and that due to other pressing government matters, is unlikely to further clarify its position.

Bitcoin in Thailand is currently trading at 18,377 THB.

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