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Thailand Announces VAT Exemption to Lure Crypto Traders

Thailand’s finance ministry recently announced plans to waive value-added tax, or VAT, on transactions involving digital assets, demonstrating the country’s efforts to become a major player in the market. The move intends to support the Thai digital asset sector and promote the use of digital assets for fundraising, as reported in a recent Bangkok Post article.

To facilitate this, the ministry has lifted the 7% VAT requirement on income from digital tokens and crypto trading, effective Jan. 1, 2024. The VAT exemption has no set expiration date, offering dealers and investors involved in the digital asset realm a long-lasting incentive.

Notably, the VAT exemption for transferring digital investment assets to third parties has been in effect since May 14 last year. This exemption, which was previously exclusive to approved exchanges, is now available to dealers and brokers that are governed by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

To strengthen the country’s position as a center for digital assets, the SEC and finance ministry are amending the Securities and Exchange Act of 2019. These changes will give digital assets the same legal standing as securities, promoting investor security and regulation. The new tax laws are expected to breathe new life into Thailand’s digital asset sector, which has been a popular destination for overseas investors in digital assets.

Additionally, Thailand’s SEC has loosened some of the prohibitions on investments using digital tokens by updating its criteria. The commission’s committee recently approved guidelines intended to improve investment rules and requirements for companies that deal with digital assets, with the aim of recognizing hazards related to digital assets and putting in place strong measures for protecting investors.

For example, the commission has removed prior investment restrictions placed on retail investors with regard to digital tokens linked to revenue streams or infrastructure operations (infra-backed ICOs) and those backed by real estate or producing income from real estate (real estate-backed ICOs). Before, the most that a retail investor could invest in a single offering was 300,000 baht ($8,357.9).

Moreover, the SEC reviewed requirements for starting businesses related to custodial wallet provision, allowing them to serve operators of digital asset enterprises. However, the commission has explicitly stated its refusal to permit the trading of Bitcoin spot ETFs within Thailand, despite their approval in the United States. This marks a notable shift in stance following years of hesitancy attributed to various cryptocurrency-related risks.

Thailand is taking a proactive approach to facilitating the growth of the crypto industry within its borders. Enterprises such as Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) would prefer that the jurisdictions in which they operate also adopt stable regulatory regimes to give clarity to industry actors.

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