Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies

Thai Central Bank Defends Cryptocurrencies

Regulation

In the high-profile Thai crypto fraud case involving an actor, Thailand’s central bank has clarified that the fraud is not related to cryptocurrency trading, but a general misuse of money. Thailand has recently legalized seven cryptocurrencies, authorized seven crypto firms, and the Bank of Thailand has green-lighted commercial banks’ subsidiaries for crypto activities.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bank of Thailand’s Clarification

Thai Central Bank Defends CryptocurrenciesMr. Veerathai Santiprabhob.

The current high-profile fraud case involving over 5,564 BTC has received much attention in Thai media. It involves a well-known soap actor and model, Jiratpisit Jaravijit, also known as “Boom”.

The Thai News Agency reported on August 20 that the Bank of Thailand (BOT) Governor, Mr. Veerathai Santiprabhob, has clarified that this fraud case is not about crypto trading. He pointed out that, as far as he knows, the scheme was not dependant on using cryptocurrencies. He emphasized that in this case:

The money is used for the wrong purpose. It is not a fraud that occurred during crypto trading.

Mr. Veerathai continued to warn investors that crypto investing is risky due to price volatility, reminding them that they should understand the risks and only invest what they can afford to lose.

Further Development of the Case

This case involves a Finnish bitcoiner and his partner being duped into investing in fraudulent investments including tokens called dragon coins, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Thai Central Bank Defends CryptocurrenciesAccording to local media, the Thai police’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) summoned eight scam suspects on Thursday. They were Boom, members of his family, two businessmen and a former soldier, the Bangkok Post detailed.

The publication also reported that “a ‘whale’ investor in the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) and staff at up to three Thai banks are suspected of being complicit” in the fraud. Three of the country’s largest banks – Bangkok Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Kasikornbank – were named. “All handled transactions involving part of the swindled money,” the publication noted and quoted the police explaining:

Police said several of the banks’ employees failed to report money transfers of 2 million baht [~US$61,040] or higher, a serious violation of bank rules. Staff are required to inform the Anti Money Laundering Office (Amlo) when sums of this value change hands.

Thai Central Bank Defends CryptocurrenciesThailand has recently enacted its cryptocurrency regulations. The country’s main crypto regulator, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has authorized seven crypto firms, five of which are crypto exchanges, to legally operate in the country. The regulator is also reviewing other applications. The seven cryptocurrencies that can be legally traded for the Thai baht are BTC, ETH, BCH, ETC, LTC, XRP, and XLM.

In addition, the SEC has revealed that about 50 initial coin offering (ICO) projects are seeking to launch, five ICO portals plan to open for business, and 20 crypto exchanges have applied for a license. Meanwhile, the Bank of Thailand has green-lighted subsidiaries of commercial banks to engage in crypto activities.

What do you think of the Bank of Thailand’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the Bank of Thailand.


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Congressman Invites Cryptocurrency Industry to ICO Summit to Discuss ‘Light-Touch’ Regulation

Rep. Warren Davidson ICO regulation
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A U.S. Congressman has invited 32 cryptocurrency industry organizations to Capitol Hill to discuss initial coin offering (ICO) regulation.

Axios reports that the summit, sponsored by Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH), will take place on Sept. 25 and feature participation from a variety of businesses and non-profits, including Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Nasdaq, CME Group, Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Circle, Kraken, Ripple, and Coin Center, among others.

Chief among Davidson’s questions is whether ICOs should be regulated as securities offerings, which fall under the oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). To date, the agency, led by Chairman Jay Clayton, has maintained that it’s conceivable that an ICO could be structured such that it is a “utility token” and not subject to SEC oversight. However, Clayton has also said that he has never personally seen an ICO that is not a security.

That said, the agency has left open the possibility that a cryptocurrency token may shed the security label by becoming sufficiently decentralized. As CCN reported, a top SEC official announced earlier this year that ether — the native token of the Ethereum platform — is not a security, despite the fact that a large supply of ether tokens was initially distributed through an ICO-style crowdsale in 2014.

Davidson, the publication reports, intends to introduce an ICO regulation bill later this year. The Ohio Republican, who sits on the House Financial Services Committee, has said that he favors a “light touch” approach to cryptocurrency regulation.

Elsewhere, industry companies are considering how to adopt self-enforcement policies to demonstrate to regulators that the ecosystem is maturing into a respectable marketplace.

Earlier this year, Nasdaq reportedly hosted a closed-door meeting to discuss ways to legitimize cryptocurrency as an asset class. Just today, a group of U.S. cryptocurrency exchanges led by Gemini announced that they had formed a working group to discuss creating a self-regulatory organization (SRO) whose mission would be to police American exchanges.

Featured Image from Warren Davidson for Congress/YouTube

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Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab States

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab States

Regulation

Following the statement by Saudi Arabia declaring cryptocurrency illegal, the largest crypto exchange in the Middle East and North Africa is working with regulators across the region to develop crypto regulations. Bitoasis confirmed its platform is unaffected by the Saudi Arabian crypto stance.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Bitoasis Working With Regulators

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesDubai-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitoasis has revealed that it is working with the regulators from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) “to develop regulatory frameworks in light of Saudi Arabia’s ban,” Arabian Business reported on Thursday. According to its website, the exchange is currently present in UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesThe GCC is a regional intergovernmental political and economic union consisting of all Arab states of the Persian Gulf except Iraq. Its member states are Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The CEO of Bitoasis, Ola Doudin, described:

As a pioneer in the industry, we are working closely with regulators in a number of our key markets across the GCC to develop and comply with the necessary regulatory framework…Regulations are absolutely fundamental. They are essential to grow and formalise the industry, while minimising risks on customers.

Response to Statement by Saudi Arabia

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesOn August 12, the Saudi Arabian “standing committee for awareness on dealing in unauthorized securities activities in the foreign exchange market” issued a statement warning that “unauthorized virtual currencies are illegal inside the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” This committee is headed by the country’s Capital Market Authority, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Media, Ministry of Commerce and Investment and the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority.

The statement reads:

The committee assured that virtual currency including, for example, but not limited to, bitcoins are illegal in the kingdom and no parties or individuals are licensed for such practices.

Crypto Exchange Works With Regulators to Develop Legal Frameworks for Arab StatesReferring to the statement by Saudi Arabian authorities, Bitoasis commented, “the recent adverse announcement on digital asset trading in Saudi Arabia highlights the necessity for a clear and comprehensive regulatory framework to build confidence at the highest level.”

Citing that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology “are the future of money,” the exchange’s CEO was quoted explaining, “this fast-growing industry is at its early stage and regulations are currently being discussed and developed in every part of the world, including this region.” She elaborated:

As a whole, our region is progressive and quick to adapt to new technologies that can create more efficient, competitive, and smarter economies. Regulatory frameworks will affirm digital assets’ status as a reality in today’s world.

Bitoasis also confirmed that its “platform is still open to customers to safely and securely trade digital assets across the Middle East.”

What do you think of Bitoasis helping to develop crypto regulatory frameworks for the Arab states? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bitoasis.


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