Bank of Thailand’s stance on Bitcoin may be misinterpreted
Just days after the report that Bank of Thailand allegedly changed its stance on Bitcoin, Thailand’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Bitcoin Co. Ltd. is once again being threatened to be treading on illegal ground.
The company reopened its Bitcoin buying and selling operation on February 15, after receiving a written response from Bank of Thailand which indicated the exchange’s operation did not fall under the regulation of the Ministry of Finance.
However, an official at the Bank of Thailand denied the exchange’s claims, and suggested that the exchange “interpreted the letter to serve its own interests.” The official goes on to indicate that the letter from Bank of Thailand indicated Bitcoin exchanges do not fall under Thai law, and therefore are not eligible to obtain appropriate licensing.
According to Bangkok Post,
“The letter also stated that even though the company allows its customers to trade Bitcoins only for baht, it could not prevent customers from exchanging Bitcoins for foreign currencies either locally or abroad, so the business is involved with foreign currency exchange and falls under the Thailand Exchange Control Act of 1942.”
That would suggest that Bitcoin Co. Ltd. would be indirectly involved with foreign currency exchange under the Thailand Exchange Control Act of 1942, putting the company in an awkward position. The post continues,
“The letter also stated that even though the company allows its customers to trade bitcoins only for baht, it could not prevent customers from exchanging Bitcoins for foreign currencies either locally or abroad.”
Bitcoin Co. Ltd. managing director, David Barnes, says that operations at the exchange will continue as usual, at least until there is a formal notice sent by the Bank of Thailand. Since reopening for business, the exchange has updated its terms and conditions to be in compliance with Bank of Thailand guidelines,
“The customer must agree never to exchange Bitcoins purchased from Bitcoin Co Ltd for any currency other than Thai Baht. The customer must also guarantee that any Bitcoins the customer sells to Bitcoin Co Ltd have never been involved in exchange with any currency other than Thai Baht.”