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Thailand launches retail CBDC pilot with 2 banks and Singapore payment service

The Bank of Thailand will launch a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot project in a regulatory sandbox this month. Three payment providers will take part, according to local media. The project will involve up to 10,000 users and run through August.

Bank of Ayudhya (Krungsri), Siam Commercial Bank and Singapore-based payments service provider 2C2P will partner with the Thai central bank on the project. Each of those organizations has made an app available to selected users that includes a wallet and a QR code scanner.

The Bank of Thailand announced it was developing a wholesale CBDC in 2018. It participated in the Bank for International Settlements’ mBridge cross-border payment project and Project Inthanon-Lion Rock project with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

In March, the country waived corporate income tax and value-added tax for companies that issue investment tokens. A government spokesman said Thailand could lose about $1 billion in revenue, but it expected investment tokens to generate $3.7 billion over the next two years.

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Cryptocurrency investors in Thailand will pay a 15% capital gains tax

Cryptocurrency-related gains, such as those resulting from trading digital currencies, will be taxed at a rate of 15%, a Finance Ministry official told local media in Thailand. After significant market growth over the past year, the department aims to improve surveillance of cryptocurrency trading in 2022.

Thailand Asks Cryptocurrency Traders To Report Profits On Tax Returns

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance advises investors to indicate their cryptocurrency earnings when filing their tax returns this year, the Bangkok Post reported Thursday. Capital gains from cryptocurrency trading will be subject to a 15% tax, the newspaper added, citing a ministry source.

The obligation concerns all taxpayers who benefit from cryptocurrency transactions, including investors and operators of cryptocurrency mining facilities, the official clarified. However, digital asset exchanges will be exempt from the fee.

The gains from cryptocurrency trading are considered taxable income according to Section 40 of the Royal Decree amending the Revenue Code No. 19, the report explains. In view of the significant expansion of the digital asset market in 2021, financial authorities now plan to improve their supervision of currency trading activities in the country.

Not all aspects of cryptocurrency taxation are clear, as noted by an industry representative. Akalarp Yimwilai, co-founder and CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex, noted that many questions remain about how to calculate earnings. One is whether the gains from a price increase as the dollar strengthens are considered gains. He further explained:

Tax methods and calculations should be more concise, clear and easy to understand. Many people I know want to pay taxes but don't know how to calculate them.

He added that Zipmex is trying to develop a system that allows its clients to estimate their profits and losses, but the task has proven difficult. “If the Department of Revenue really has such an advanced data analytics system that it can accurately calculate cryptocurrency earnings, it would be of great benefit to share it with the industry,” he noted.

Authorities in Thailand, a major tourist destination, have been trying to demonstrate a friendly attitude towards the growing number of cryptocurrency users, especially among visitors. In September, the country’s tourism authority announced that it wanted to promote what it described as an “atmosphere of crypto tourism,” and in November its governor emphasized that Thailand must become a “crypto-positive society.” Last month, Bank of Thailand officials declared that cryptocurrency payments are not illegal.

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Crypto Mining Rises in Thailand as Investors Maximize China’s Ban

After the ban on cryptocurrencies in China, cryptocurrency investors in Thailand quickly seized the opportunity to buy cheap mining rigs that had been sidelined by Chinese miners out of the market. And that, in turn, has led to an increase in crypto mining activities in Thailand, reports Al Jazeera.

Thailand crypto investors take advantage of China’s cryptocurrency ban

After the ban, affected Chinese miners had to recoup some of their investments in one way or another. This led them to sell their mining machines at a bargain price. To keep things going, many of the mining companies have also had to move to several other countries that allow mining activities, including Kazakhstan, Russia, the United States and Southeast Asia.

Cryptocurrency mining on the rise

Speaking in an interview with local media, one of Thailand’s cryptocurrencies who identified himself as Pongsakorn Tongtaveenan had a lot to say. He says he’s not alone, as many cryptocurrencies like him quickly took advantage of China’s ban on cryptocurrencies. He explained that they quickly started buying mining platforms and PC processors from Chinese miners and that we are reselling them to local crypto investors. And, according to him, as the demand for the machines is incessant, prices returned to their previous levels.

For Thailand, the growing popularity of crypto mining in Thailand is simply due to residents becoming more optimistic about the future of cryptocurrencies in the country.

When Beijing launched an all-out war against crypto miners and all things cryptography, some of the top bitcoin miners had to leave the country for more crypto-friendly regions.

In fact, companies like e-commerce giant Alibaba have had to ban the sale of mining encryption equipment to comply with current regulations. Furthermore, it had to completely remove the blockchain miners and accessories categories from its e-commerce market as of October 8th.

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Thailand postpones its CBDC pilot program until the end of 2022

Thailand has announced plans to postpone the test of its central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) until the end of 2022. Remember that the test was initially scheduled for the second quarter of 2022, but has now been rescheduled for the end of year. year.

Thailand postpones CBDC test

According to Reuters, which shared the rescheduling report, Thailand is looking to use CBDC as an alternative payment option to replace cash.

And while the postponement may have been confirmed, the reason for the central bank’s decision has yet to be determined. Although Bank of Thailand deputy director Kasidit Tansanguan may have suggested a goal of laser focus on efficiency, which may be slow work.

Thailand can still take a gradual step in retail CBDC to ensure efficiency and prudence, as it has problems with funds transfers or payments like some other countries,” he said.

But despite the delay, the testing phase must still be used to carefully analyze the use of CBDC in relation to transactions and how it can supplement cash payments.

For the pilot project, around 10,000 users together with some financial institutions will test the digital currency for online and offline transactions, including withdrawals, deposits and funds transfers.

CBDC grows in popularity as the world becomes even more digital

Without a doubt, the world is definitely going digital. However, it is reasonable, especially considering that the COVID cases are now unfolding. Now, globally, these genuine concerns are catching the attention of most central banks, who continue to look for ways to provide an alternative to cash transactions.

In fact, some countries have passed the testing phase and are already using their CBDC. For example, Nigeria and the Bahamas are already actively using their CBDCs, while other countries such as Ghana and China are already in the pre-deployment testing phase.