Regulation of Bitcoin has always been a topic of substantial debate. Some people see the benefit of being officially recognised, whereas others are not overly bothered by it. But if Bitcoin is to go mainstream, some regulation may be necessary for the long run. Bank of Thailand is working on a new set of fintech regulation that may affect Bitcoin as well.
The central bank of Thailand has deemed the time right to introduce more fintech regulation. Every financial startup in the country brings innovation to the table. At the same time, there is also systemic risk and consumer protection to take into account. This sentiment applies to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies as well, NewsBTC understands.
Bank of Thailand Has Good And Bad Ideas
Building a fintech-specific regulatory framework may sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob wants all fintech companies to be registered with the central bank. That would also mean any bitcoin company in Thailand would go through this process. Keeping in mind how Bitcoin startups and banks hardly ever see eye to eye, this could result in conflict
What is rather worrisome is the so-called Payment System Act. This legislative proposal is still awaiting government approval, NewsBTC understands. The Act will allow for supervision of electronic transfers. Additionally, it will provide a system for enterprises to verify client identities. Moreover, it will also introduce the Quick Response Code, which acts as a new payment standard.
Bank of Thailand has plans for startups that do not present a systemic risk as well. Any peer-to-peer lender will granted membership of the National Credit Bureau. In doing so, these startups gain access to consumers’ credit data. An exciting step, albeit one that will not help Bitcoin companies all that much. Then again, every piece of information is valuable.
Most fintech and Bitcoin startups require some form of funding by financial institutions down the line. Up until now, Thailand had very strict restrictions in place for money-raising efforts. These guidelines will be relaxed, which is a positive sign. This does not mean it suddenly becomes easier to secure investments, though.
All in all, these new proposals seem to present a mixed bag of positive and worrisome signs. Some aspects will certainly benefit fintech and Bitcoin in Thailand. Then again, it remains to be seen how Bank of Thailand plans to enforce the most strict parts of this proposal.