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Author Topic: Bitcoin is legal in Thailand  (Read 8116 times)
mrb
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July 29, 2013, 07:24:37 PM
 #1

Bitcoin was not ruled illegal in Thailand. There is poor reporting and interpretation going on. The Bank of Thailand has no legal power. A few senior members of the bank saying something is illegal does not make it illegal. The Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department are merely departments of the bank, not branches of the legislative government of Thailand.

This is a scenario similar to what happened in 2011 in France: MtGox's bank closed their account saying that a Bitcoin exchange was "illegal/unauthorized". MtGox sued the bank. And courts sided with MtGox and forced the bank to re-open their account: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=41317.0

Same thing here. The Bank of Thailand saying "this is illegal" does not make it illegal. They are just an institution, who does not represent the government, who displays a hostile attitude toward Bitcoin. Nothing more.
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July 29, 2013, 07:49:41 PM
 #2

So essentially this is like only Bank Of America saying "Bitcoin is illegal" and then everyone taking that as fact.

Saying that you don't trust someone because of their behavior is completely valid.
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July 29, 2013, 07:54:22 PM
 #3

Bitcoin was not ruled illegal in Thailand. There is poor reporting and interpretation going on. The Bank of Thailand has no legal power. A few senior members of the bank saying something is illegal does not make it illegal. The Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department are merely departments of the bank, not branches of the legislative government of Thailand.

This is a scenario similar to what happened in 2011 in France: MtGox's bank closed their account saying that a Bitcoin exchange was "illegal/unauthorized". MtGox sued the bank. And courts sided with MtGox and forced the bank to re-open their account: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=41317.0

Same thing here. The Bank of Thailand saying "this is illegal" does not make it illegal. They are just an institution, who does not represent the government, who displays a hostile attitude toward Bitcoin. Nothing more.

Wow thanks for the heads up, I'm suprised more people from thailand haven't spoken up yet to correct the misconception.

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July 29, 2013, 07:59:51 PM
 #4

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/29/bitcoin-illegal-in-thailand

I havent read it completely, but BTC is in NO way illegal, remember that people!
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July 29, 2013, 08:15:51 PM
 #5

So essentially this is like only Bank Of America saying "Bitcoin is illegal" and then everyone taking that as fact.

Well not really. Bank of Thailand is not comparable to Bank Of America but rather to the Federal Reserve in USA. One does not simply open an account with BOT. Other Thai banks open an account with BOT.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_Thailand#Roles_and_Responsibilities
Quote
It defines its roles as:
Print and issue banknotes and other security documents
Promote monetary stability and formulate monetary policies
Manage the BOT’s assets
Provide banking facilities to the government and act as the registrar for the government bonds
Provide banking facilities for the financial institutions
Establish or Support the establishment of payment system
Supervise and examine the financial institutions
Manage the country’s foreign exchange rate under the foreign exchange system and manage assets in the currency reserve according to the Currency Act
Control the foreign exchange according to the exchange control act

The post (if true) sounds like BOT's assessment of the laws and they "advised" the exchange that Bitcoin is illegal. They probably have the power to make (unenforceable) policy with regards to Bitcoin... that is if it is recognized as currency.

mrb
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July 29, 2013, 09:52:27 PM
 #6

Well not really. Bank of Thailand is not comparable to Bank Of America but rather to the Federal Reserve in USA. One does not simply open an account with BOT. Other Thai banks open an account with BOT.

Correct.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_Thailand#Roles_and_Responsibilities
Quote
It defines its roles as:
Print and issue banknotes and other security documents
Promote monetary stability and formulate monetary policies
Manage the BOT’s assets
Provide banking facilities to the government and act as the registrar for the government bonds
Provide banking facilities for the financial institutions
Establish or Support the establishment of payment system
Supervise and examine the financial institutions
Manage the country’s foreign exchange rate under the foreign exchange system and manage assets in the currency reserve according to the Currency Act
Control the foreign exchange according to the exchange control act

The post (if true) sounds like BOT's assessment of the laws and they "advised" the exchange that Bitcoin is illegal. They probably have the power to make (unenforceable) policy with regards to Bitcoin...

Again, this does not mean BOT has power to make Bitcoin illegal. They can make "suggestions" to the government. They can "advise" them. But they cannot write laws. For example BOT enforces the Exchange Control Act (which was enacted into law by the government, not by BOT), and this Act, unless changed by the government, does not prohibit Bitcoin.

The day this Act will be changed, or another will be written, to prohibit Bitcoin, will be the day Bitcoin is illegal in Thailand. Until then Bitcoin is legal.
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July 29, 2013, 10:18:44 PM
 #7


Again, this does not mean BOT has power to make Bitcoin illegal. They can make "suggestions" to the government. They can "advise" them. But they cannot write laws. For example BOT enforces the Exchange Control Act (which was enacted into law by the government, not by BOT), and this Act, unless changed by the government, does not prohibit Bitcoin.

The day this Act will be changed, or another will be written, to prohibit Bitcoin, will be the day Bitcoin is illegal in Thailand. Until then Bitcoin is legal.

Ok I stand corrected, but BOT has power to treat Bitcoin as currency...  I am not much into legal stuff, but my understanding is that in general Thais do not need to update laws to prohibit new stuff, rather they need to update the laws if they need to allow it.

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July 29, 2013, 11:16:05 PM
 #8

Hey if you guys want to find out for sure, why don't you just ask the Bank of Thailand directly to confirm or deny this nasty rumor about them?

http://www.bot.or.th/English/Feedback/_layouts/Application/Feedback/Feedback.aspx

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July 29, 2013, 11:22:50 PM
 #9

Hey if you guys want to find out for sure, why don't you just ask the Bank of Thailand directly to confirm or deny this nasty rumor about them?

http://www.bot.or.th/English/Feedback/_layouts/Application/Feedback/Feedback.aspx


I tried that—it doesn't work. There's an error.

I've concluded that I'm not fit to read legalese. I located the actual legislation here. A cursory glance seems to indicate that the Bank, or at least officials appointed by the Bank, does indeed have the authority to regulate "foreign currency". Can anyone who is more well-versed in law read this and confirm?
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July 29, 2013, 11:46:18 PM
 #10

http://codinginmysleep.com/bitcoin-illegal-in-thailand-sort-of-not-really-maybe/

Saying that you don't trust someone because of their behavior is completely valid.
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July 30, 2013, 07:08:26 AM
 #11

I bet there will be some positive news on this area next month.

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July 30, 2013, 07:35:27 AM
 #12

ความไม่ย่อท้อคือหนทางเอาชนะอุปสรรค... "when the going gets tough, the tough get going"  Wink
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July 30, 2013, 03:45:31 PM
 #13

Ithink, lots of facts have been masking for years. Not only that. Mining, do something privately cannot be blocked as this is yout wish, a contract unless there is legal statement issued by governments, there is no document mentioning this.
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August 02, 2013, 02:34:22 PM
 #14

"THAILAND MAKES BITCOINS ILLEGAL BECAUSE ITS LAWS ARE TOO OLD-FASHIONED"
http://www.fastcompany.com/3015007/fast-feed/thailand-makes-bitcoins-illegal-because-its-laws-are-too-old-fashioned

"A bitcoin company says the virtual currency is illegal in Thailand"
http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2013/07/29/bitcoin-now-illegal-in-thailand/?mod=MW_latest_news

"Thai central bank rules Bitcoin to be illegal"
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2013-07/29/bitcoin-illegal-in-thailand


Well somebody better go tell the news media that bitcoin is not illegal because it certainly looks illegal...

http://thainews.prd.go.th/centerweb/newsen/NewsDetail?NT01_NewsID=WNECO5607300010005

https://bitcoin.co.th/news/


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Viceroy
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August 02, 2013, 02:53:41 PM
 #15

They all have the same "source".
Crappy journalism at its finest.

No doubt, but journalism has been declining for decades the lack of original reporting is nothing new.  The core statement remains:

"The ruling means it is illegal to buy and sell bitcoins, buy or sell any goods or services in exchange for bitcoins, send any bitcoins to anyone outside of Thailand, or receive bitcoins from anyone outside the country".

https://bitcoin.co.th/news/

At the conclusion of the meeting senior members of the Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department advised that due to lack of existing applicable laws, capital controls and the fact that Bitcoin straddles multiple financial facets the following Bitcoin activities are illegal in Thailand:

Buying Bitcoins
Selling Bitcoins
Buying any goods or services in exchange for Bitcoins
Selling any goods or services for Bitcoins
Sending Bitcoins to anyone located outside of Thailand
Receiving Bitcoins from anyone located outside of Thailand

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mrb
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August 02, 2013, 10:42:07 PM
 #16

Viceroy, every single one of these articles you quoted has the "Bank of Thailand" as its source. And you completely missed the main point of this thread that the "Bank of Thailand" has no legal power to declare Bitcoin illegal.

Yes the media is wrong.  They are wrong more often than you think...
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August 03, 2013, 04:00:02 AM
 #17

Viceroy, every single one of these articles you quoted has the "Bank of Thailand" as its source. And you completely missed the main point of this thread that the "Bank of Thailand" has no legal power to declare Bitcoin illegal.

Yes the media is wrong.  They are wrong more often than you think...

Nor does FinCEN have ANY ability to make law... but they have every right to offer guidance.  Tell me how that is in any way different.  Thailand's regulating body (the body that regulates all banks) has decided that bitcoin is an illegal currency and will not authorize any of it's banks to trade in it.

In America we have the Department of Treasury overseeing all banks through its FinCEN unit.  I do not see any difference in why we should give FinCEN's guidance any more credence or why we should ignore the guidance of the Bank of Thailand which is the regulating authority on the matter.




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mrb
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August 04, 2013, 08:52:23 PM
 #18

Guidance is not law.

Besides, FinCEN is part of the US government, whereas the Bank of Thailand is not part of the government.
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August 04, 2013, 09:40:52 PM
 #19

Guidance is not law.

Besides, FinCEN is part of the US government, whereas the Bank of Thailand is not part of the government.


Per Wikipedia:

The Bank of Thailand (BOT) was first set up as the Thai National Banking Bureau. The Bank of Thailand Act was promulgated on 28 April 1942 vesting upon the Bank of Thailand the responsibility for all central banking functions. The Bank of Thailand started operations on 10 December 1942.

Sounds just like the Federal Reserve to me.  

Now FinCEN is not part of the Federal Reserve and none of these bodies can make law but they sure can interpret the law and they have.  The Bank of Thailand's opinion is that bitcoin is illegal.  FinCEN's opinion is that bitcoin is money.

As a matter of fact the Bank of Thailand works hand in hand with FinCEN as they are both members of FATF
http://www.fatf-gafi.org/pages/asiapacificgrouponmoneylaunderingapg.html
http://www.fincen.gov/international/fatf/


Now tell me again how FinCEN's opinion is any different than BOT's opinion in terms of how it affects users of bitcoin.  Are you really trying to say that BOT has no authority regarding money and Thailand?

Or are you just jazzed about the misuse of the English word "law" or "legal" in this context?



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August 04, 2013, 09:46:15 PM
 #20

Wow thanks for the heads up, I'm suprised more people from thailand haven't spoken up yet to correct the misconception.
They did, but media wouldn't listen, and people wouldn't listen.
Once a FUD is spread, people are too stupid to stop it and spread it on.

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