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Update Regarding Cryptocurrency and ICO Issues in Thailand

Transcript of the above video:

As the title to this video suggests, we are going to be doing a brief update regarding matters pertaining to cryptocurrency and ICOs specifically, that's Initial Coin Offerings, here in the Kingdom of Thailand.

Recently there has been some rather interesting information regarding these topics. We've been trying to do videos trying to keep up with what's going on in this space. Thus far, frankly it's been a little bit more murky than we would have liked but it seems that there seems to be some light at the end of the tunnel and there seems to be some information which hopefully will be on the horizon rather shortly.

It should be noted that this video is being filmed on March 6th, 2018 so the information contained herein may be fairly soon, somewhat out of date but I am reporting this at this time because we are right in the midst of, and I will get into this in a moment, recent meetings among regulators here in the Kingdom pertaining to cryptocurrencies specifically and ICOs specifically. So just to get into some reason quotes, and recent information that's of note with respect to this issue. Reporting in the Bangkok Post, 27th February, 2018, the headline is “KTB Shuts Down Crypto Trade Accounts”. Quoting directly, "State-owned Krung Thai Bank is the second financial institution to follow the Bank of Thailand "request", to stop cryptocurrency trades". Krung Thai Bank has become the second financial institution after the Bangkok Bank to terminate transactions involving cryptocurrencies trading with Thai Digital Asset Exchange following a Finance Ministry order. Quoting further, "the move followed a Bank of Thailand request that financial institutions cooperate by refraining from making or being involved in cryptocurrency transactions as the regulatory framework supervising digital currencies remains unclear", Mr. Somchai said. Mr. Somchai Sujjapongse is the Head of The Krung Thai Bank. I urge those viewers who are really interested in this information to check out this article again, Bangkok Post: the title is “KTB Shuts Down Crypto Trader Accounts”, a very important article.

Of further note is the fact that as part of this, and as part of other issues surrounding the sort of crypto space, is the issue of just what to do regulatorily, not a specific regulatory screen per se but “how is this going to be regulated?” As of yet, that remains rather unclear, however as I will get to in the following quotes here and some of this information, there appears to be in the offing some sort of regulatory information that's going to come out rather soon. So again we're filming this on March 6th. This headline, again Bangkok Post "Regulators to Meet for ICO Framework”. This was published March the 5th. Quoting directly "the Finance Ministry, the Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Anti-Money Laundering Office are scheduled to meet on Tuesday to create a clear regulatory framework to supervise initial coin offerings and cryptocurrencies. So it's not just specific to ICOs but it's also for cryptocurrency matters generally. Quoting further, “Requirements for underlying assets or service and "know your customer" rules are crucial parts of the imminent regulatory framework aimed at thwarting the use of digital currencies as instruments to cheat people and launder money” an informed source at the Finance Ministry said. In a prior video on this channel, we went ahead and did as best we could and as quick as we could, a translation of a communique issued by SEC on this specific issue and one of the major issues that seemed to be at the forefront of their concerns was again this notion of cryptocurrency and ICOs being used as a vehicle or mechanism for pulling off some sort of scam on the general public or just on unwitting individuals specifically. Again quoting further, and the final quote here, "the SEC which has been delegated the task of forming a regulatory framework for ICOs and cryptocurrencies will inform the development, (will inform the development, “I think regarding the development”)", the source said, adding that “the new laws expected to be promulgated and the current laws may be used to govern virtual token”. And I urge viewers to take a look at this article directly, again Bangkok Post, headline: “Regulators to Meet for ICO Framework”. What can the viewer take away from this? Well it's very clear that there seems to be a strong impetus to get a regulatory framework out there. Authorities here in Thailand clearly consider this important issue to get dealt with and to sort this out before an ecosystem, I think,  comes into being that is probably beyond regulatory oversight or would be so difficult to oversee and to administer that it would be a very daunting task to sort of do that off one's back foot. So the thing to take away from this video is, regulators here in Thailand are taking affirmative steps to get a regulatory framework into being. I think it will be probably here sooner rather than later. Some things to expect out of that regulatory framework as noted, "know your customer" rules, they noted that specifically in the article I just mentioned.  Also on other research I've done "know your customers" is extremely important and the other thing is they want to really go out of their way it seems like to go ahead and get regulations in place to forestall individuals and the public-at-large from becoming victims of scams and various and sundry larcenies stemming from the cryptocurrency economy if you will.

I don't think anybody is saying that cryptocurrency is a bad thing per se and I think it's a little bit disingenuous to take away from this video that there is some inherent connection between cryptocurrency and some form of scam. In my opinion there isn't at all. I think cryptocurrency is the block chain, all this technology is really, really fascinating.  I think it frankly probably represents a massive innovation at the level of probably somewhere akin to the creation of the internet itself as far as the impact this is going to have on society. It seems to me that the regulators here in Thailand are simply trying to come up with a framework that they can utilize in order to properly scrutinize future ICOs especially here in Thailand, scrutinize future activity pertaining to cryptocurrency here in Thailand and regulate that activity in such a way that it protects the public at large from illegal activity.