On Monday, Thailand based Bitcoin exchange Bitcoin Co. Ltd. ceased trading due to an advisement from the Bank of Thailand declaring Bitcoin transactions illegal.
Via the exchange’s site…
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
The exchange had been operating on previous advice from the Bank of Thailand that Bitcoin was not a currency. However, the businesses had been in the process of registering with regulators in Thailand to ensure that they were operating lawfully.
This change in policy from the Bank of Thailand occurred after the exchange made a presentation to bank members in an attempt to explain the currency to them. The companies managing director gave a presentation on “the workings of Bitcoin, the benefits of Bitcoin, incite into the company’s operations and future implications of Bitcoin.” …I guess he got their attention!