Thai Finance Secretary: Blockchain Is Beneficial But People Should Know Risks

Thai Ministry of Finance’s permanent secretary Somchai Sujjapongse thinks that the Bank of Thailand and Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) need to officially warn customers of the risks of investing in crypto markets, as reported in the The Bangkok Post[1] today, Feb.2.

According to Sujjapongse, a working committee on cryptocurrencies, formed by the Bank of Thailand, the SEC, the Ministry of Finance, and the Anti-Money Laundering office, will soon release a report on how to move forward with crypto regulation.

In reference to the future of regulating crypto market investing, Sujjapongse said,

“Allowing Bitcoin transactions to be made without warnings and direction from regulators is not acceptable.”

In September 2017, the Thai SEC showed a willingness[2] to support Initial Coin Offerings (ICO)[3] by announcing that they would be drafting regulations for ICOs, as they may fall into the category of securities under Thai law.

With the recent volatility[4] in the crypto markets, Sujjapongse sees a need for urgency in Thailand to come to a conclusion about regulating cryptocurrencies. However, the permanent secretary makes the distinction between regulation of Bitcoin (BTC)[5] and of Blockchain[6] technology:

“It is not correct to consider Blockchain harmful if we do not prefer Bitcoin, as Blockchain technology can create benefits. We can reap benefits from using Blockchain technology.”

Several banks in Thailand have already begun looking into Blockchain-based technologies for their financial services.

The Bank of Thailand held a meeting in August 2017[7] with Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, about the possibility of using Ethereum and other Blockchain services for improving the speed and security of financial transactions. In November 2017, the Bank of Ayudha in Thailand successfully ran a pilot Blockchain project with IBM that aimed to improve back-office efficiency.