Thai exchange Bitcoin Co. has resumed Bitcoin trading after a letter from the Bank of Thailand took the chill off cryptocurrency trading.
BitLegal cites a bank document (here it is if you can read Thai) that states that Bitcoins do not fall under the scope of the Thai Ministry of Finance’s jurisdiction so long as foreign currencies are used to make the exchanges.
Therefore, Bitcoin business would not need licensing from the ministry to operate in Thailand.
That said, this is simply the bank’s interpretation of the law. There is no guarantee that the ministry will not try to crack down on cryptocurrency traders in Thailand later. Either way, the bank’s letter was enough surety for Bitcoin Co. to start trading again.
In July 2013, the company suspended trading after a senior central bank official told a company representative that buying, selling or purchasing with Bitcoins could be illegal under Thai law.
Bitcoin occupies a grey area in Thailand’s legal code, as is the case in many countries, and trying to figure out its legal status on a country-by-country basis can be frustrating without an official pronouncement.
As the company tried to remain compliant and register as a financial service in Thailand, the chilling effect the government official had was sufficient to get Bitcoin Co. to cease trading.
Thailand’s Bitcoin scene is still small, but local demand plus its proximity to huge Asian financial markets could change that quickly. In the meantime, there is still a wait-and-see element to the official status of digital currencies in Thailand.
Keep following this space, and we will update as soon as we learn more.