Today, cryptocurrencies have become a worldwide phenomenon known to many people. While still ignored by some people, financial institutions and governments are aware of their importance. But beyond their popularity, cryptocurrencies are surrounded by exchange hacks; hence now, more than ever, governments need to get ahead and regulate the industry. In that vein, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam has called for more cryptocurrencies regulation, as reported on 8th November by local news daily, Bangkok Post. While the country introduced a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies in the beginning of this year, Wissanu said that his government is ready to form other regulative strategies to minimize consumer security threats.
Clear Legal Framework For Crypto Businesses
Speaking at the Counter Terrorism Financing Summit, the Thai deputy prime minister said experts should get out of their resting zones and take immediate action, without hiding behind the already established cyber security protocols. He stressed that the hackers are always a step in front, and thus new domestic and international rules must be established, and strategies established if the challenges are to truly be put to an end.
In addition to formulating a clear legal framework for the crypto businesses, Thailand has also allowed the financial institutions in the country to venture in the industry, although with some restrictions. In August this year, Bank of Thailand (BOT) allowed the local banks to create subsidiaries that would deal with crypto businesses. However, while Thai financial institutions can run crypto related businesses, and even provide brokerage services, BoT re-affirmed that the institutions are still banned from transacting directly with cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin is a valuable virtual currency which changes hands on the internet. On the other hand, blockchain technology involves the mode of transaction record used to facilitate the operations, and storage of data. Although there are multiple rules which control its usage, hackers and criminals still find a way to exploit it to hatch their plans and launder money.
The major problem with this money laundering is that the parties involved tend to stay anonymous, said Mr. Wissanu, thus making it hard for the watchdogs to identify them. These concerns have made the Thai government to take two measures; the 2016 act on highly destructive weapons and encounter terrorism, as well as the 2018 executive decree on businesses’ digital assets. These measures, among several others, have helped Thailand to have some leverage, although “there is a need to amend the laws further as a way of keeping up with the ever changing technology,” added Mr.Wissanu.
The prime minister raised the alarm amid the rapidly growing worries and fears over digital currency money laundering. According to him, many illegal users gain the online access over the services provided by the financial institutions, and even access to personal accounts to illegally acquire the virtual currencies.
The summit participants came in to an agreement that the heads of governments must develop helpful strategies to cope with the illegal online financing. This is mainly because intergovernmental cooperation reduces the number of laundering cases by reducing or cutting off their financial support.
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