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Thailand Becoming a Crypto Hub in Southeast Asia


Asia is becoming a hub for cryptocurrency development. In fact, there is a growing number of companies located in Asia in need of developers who can operate in the blockchain industry. Since it is still a relatively new market, businesses hire those developers don’t have prior experience related to blockchain technology.

However, not all countries in Asia are pro-cryptocurrencies. You have the likes of China that has renewed their interest in squashing crypto-related activities. It has recently banned crypto-related activities being hosted by malls and hotels.

Japan is known as a country that has helped the progress of cryptocurrencies in the future. It has updated its crypto regulations on crypto exchanges in order to protect investors and to prevent hacks from happening in the future.

Another country that is leading the development of cryptocurrencies in the region is Thailand. While the US regulators are still not yet sure how to handle cryptocurrencies, Thailand’s government already have its own central bank digital currency.

At the start of the year, Thailand’s government was outspoken about how it welcomes the new industry. And in just a few months, there are a good number of regulatory changes that have allowed exchanges and ICOs to operate. And because of this, it has also attracted foreign capital after the country has outlined clear and explicit guidelines for foreign blockchain-related companies.

And this is fast becoming a trend in South East Asia. The Philippines as well is looking to attract crypto projects by making the necessary changes in its regulations.

According to Zac Cheah who is a Malaysian CEO of Pundi X, “I think government is morphing and changing and many governments that we know are not you know exactly the ones that we say that are lagging behind. They, in fact, have like people, young or not so young people, that are very knowledgeable about what is happening right now. So in fact sometimes when we go to core blockchain meetups, we actually see some very core people from the regulatory side […] they know that this will change the landscape a lot so I think they are trying to think through the, if I may, the ‘tokenomics’ of how they want to get involved”.

Seven Cryptocurrencies Legalized

Thailand has seven legal cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar are all declared legal in June by the Thai government. On the same month, there were a limited number of crypto exchanges that were permitted for operating licenses. But by July, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has allowed additional exchanges to apply.

As for the ICOs, there are three categories made by Thai regulators. ICOs can be investment tokens, utility tokens, and cryptocurrency.

Soaring Crime?

Though there remains a low number of crimes related to cryptocurrencies in the country, a study carried out by Thailand Institute of Justice and the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute came to the conclusion that transnationally organized crime activities related to blockchain are expected to rise in Thailand. Among crimes that are expected include ID cards and travel document forgery, and money laundering.

Lee Jenkins

Lee is our resident cryptocurrency expert who knows the ins and outs of each coin and the blockchain technology behind them. You’ll find that most of our technical guides are written or overseen by Lee and they are all easily digestible by the new and experienced alike, so there is no better place to learn blockchain 101 than here. Occasionally you may see a news article from him if it’s tech related!