While the two biggest economies in the world are still trying to figure out how to think about blockchain and crypto, a Southeast Asian country known for its booming tourism industry is gradually becoming an active player in the global crypto industry. Thailand has emerged as one of the most interesting crypto-friendly nations in 2018.
Earlier this year, the Thai government became actively welcoming towards the crypto industry and made notable progress, including the establishment of crypto company licenses that permit crypto exchanges and ICOs, and attracting foreign blockchain companies to register in Thailand. This is a pattern we see often in smaller countries, where crypto companies work closely with government regulators from the get-go. Crypto companies are able to build trust with local authorities and in return, are provided with a smooth legal path.
Just a couple months ago, the Thai government legalised seven cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar. In addition, the Thai SEC categorised the issuing of ICOs into three types: investment tokens, utility tokens, and cryptocurrency. This means potential ICO issuers now have government approved ways to issue ICOs, as opposed to the U.S. SEC’s rather vauge policies.
Not only does the Thai government actively support private crypto companies, the government itself is actively involved in its own crypto projects. Just recently the Bank of Thailand (BOT) established a preliminary outline for the so called Project Inthanon, a central bank backed digital currency initiative ( CBDC) The plan is to involve 8 participating banks to start building the prototype. “The BOT and the participating banks will collaboratively design and develop a proof-of-concept prototype for wholesale funds transfer by issuing wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (Wholesale CBDC).” – Project Inthanon