Thailand completely bans use of Bitcoins in the country

By on July 30, 2013, 2:15 PM
bitcoin, thailand, ban, bitcoins, bank

A Thailand-based Bitcoin startup has had to suspend all operations after discovering that their country has effectively banned Bitcoins completely. Bitcoin Co. Ltd. was informed by the Bank of Thailand that the Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department declared Bitcoin activities illegal due to "lack of existing applicable laws", amongst other reasons.

Due to the ruling, buying and selling Bitcoins, trading goods for Bitcoins, and sending/receiving Bitcoins in Thailand is banned. As Bitcoins are completely digital and users can access funds through a number of means, it's not quite clear how Thailand would actually be able to enforce a ban on the cryptocurrency. It's also the first time a country has completely banned Bitcoin, with most countries treating it as a 'virtual currency' while keeping it legal.

At this stage it's not clear when the ban goes into effect or what the consequences are for continuing to trade Bitcoins in Thailand, but most people will likely keep using the currency as there's no real way for the government to check its usage. Bitcoin is used on a minimal basis for actual trade, so even if a ban is somehow enforced, it won't affect many people in the country.

Thailand isn't afraid of censoring the internet, with a large number of websites being actively blocked by the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology at an ISP level, mostly in an effort to curb pornography and to keep the peace. The banning of Bitcoin adds to the list of technological censorships faced by people living in the southeast Asian country.

User Comments: 7

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cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

At least one country is treating Bitcoins the way they need to be treated.

Guest said:

Yet another reason to doubt the viability of these things, this may be th first of many countries

honestly I wouldnt invest one cent in bitcoins

Guest said:

Bitcoin is not about investment, its about anonymity.

Guest said:

Yea many people were/are confused, scared etc. when it comes to Bitcoins.

However, if you had invested in it when it was new (high risk), you would be cashing out like there's no tomorrow right now (high reward). Despite what people say and feel about Bitcoins, they do have value. How the Bitcoin value is defined is another thing entirely.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Despite what people say and feel about Bitcoins, they do have value. How the Bitcoin value is defined is another thing entirely.
Wall Street has value for a select few as well. Everyone can't win at the game, someone has to lose for it to be successful. Gambling is the same way, ohh thats right Wall Street is gambling and so is Bitcoins.

ypsylon said:

They can ban all they want. There are exchanges who ask very little or no questions. Bitcoin isn't more illegal than any other currency in the world. If BTC is treated this way so such be all internal banking currencies for transactions/resource market. Those also are purely virtual, and only used by financial institutions. Can't buy single unit for personal use.

Norgi said:

I'm a little surprised about the negative tone here towards BC. The BC or any crypto-currency system is way more honest and fair than our current Private bank based economy, it is no secret that the only winners atm. are the bankers. Also BC was not banned in thailand, the bank of Thailand said that BC should be banned, what banks say is not automatically law, of course it eventually becomes the law as they are the ones who are in charge, but they are not there yet.

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