Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Cryptocurrency Activities

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency Activities

The Thai central bank has prohibited financial institutions in the country from five key cryptocurrency activities, including banning customers from buying cryptocurrencies with credit cards.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Banks Banned From 5 Crypto Activities

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesThe Bank of Thailand (BOT) issued a circular on Monday asking “financial institutions not to get involved in cryptocurrency transactions for fear of possible problems from the unregulated trading,” Reuters translated.

Mr. Wisit Santiprabop, the central bank’s governor, signed the circular which outlines five key cryptocurrency activities banks are banned from:

Investing or trading in cryptocurrency, exchanging cryptocurrencies, creating platforms for cryptocurrency trading, allowing clients to use credit cards to buy cryptocurrencies, and from advising customers on cryptocurrency investing or trading.

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency Activities
Circular excerpt explaining the five crypto activities banks are banned from.

The central bank stated that “cryptocurrencies were not legal tender in Thailand,” the publication conveyed, adding that “it was worried that they may be used in illegal activities such as money laundering or supporting terrorism.”

Recently, the Thai government announced that it will not ban cryptocurrencies and is developing a regulatory framework for them.

Banks Complying

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesMs. Prasanee Auiyamaphan, a Bangkok Bank Executive Assistant, was quoted by Voice TV saying that the bank has “no policy to provide [crypto] exchange services,” emphasizing that cryptocurrencies cannot be exchanged for cash at her bank.

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesMr. Thana Thienachariya, Senior Executive VP and Chief Marketing Officer at Siam Commercial Bank said that its subsidiary, Digital Ventures Co. Ltd., has previously formed a strategic alliance with Ripple to offer a payment service between Japan and Thailand. He added that his bank will be discussing this issue with the central bank.

Bank of Thailand Bans Banks From Five Cryptocurrency ActivitiesMr. Thakorn Piyapan, Head of Krungsri Consumer Group and an executive of Digital Banking and Innovation at Bank of Ayudhya said, “although the bank will use the transfer service across the country through Ripple,” it is cooperating with the BOT and “does not provide any [cryptocurrency] services at all.”

He explained that there are some areas that banks need to examine before being able to comply. For example, to prevent customers from buying cryptocurrencies using credit cards, he elaborated:

In Thailand, people are buying digital currency. So the bank is asking for time to check the type of transactions that customers [make when they] swipe cards that are associated with digital currency. If applicable, the bank may have to suspend the service.

Recently, banks in the US and well as the UK have also banned their credit card customers from buying cryptocurrencies.

As for cryptocurrency traders, Poramin Insom, managing director of the Thai crypto exchange TDAX, said that “there is no impact on people who are investors of cryptocurrencies,” the news outlet quoted him. However, he explained, “TDAX is affected by this announcement, which makes the process of opening an account with the bank take longer. Bank of Thailand requests more documents.”

What do you think of the Bank of Thailand’s action? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bangkok Bank, SCB, Krungsri, and Bank of Thailand.


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FBI Claims Arrested Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Medvedev Worth $800M+ in BTC

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in Thailand

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has claimed that Sergey Sergeyvich Medvedev, a Russian national recently arrested in Bangkok, was the co-founder and second in command of the Infraud group – a notorious international cyber crime syndicate. It has been reported that at the time of his arrest, Mr. Medvedev was in possession of more than 100,000 bitcoins.

Also Read: Japan Cracks Down on Foreign ICO Agency Operating Without License

Accused Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Arrested in Thailand

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in Thailand
Sergey Medvedev arrested by Thai police

Sergey Sergeyvich Medvedev is accused of being the co-founder and second in command of the transnational crime syndicate, Infraud. The dark-web marketplace associated with the group was seized and taken offline by U.S. authorities.

Mr. Medvedev, a Russian national, fled to Thailand six years ago. Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division (CSD) identified the thirty-one-year-old as being located in Bangkok following an investigation prompted by American requests for cooperation with the FBI.

Maj. Nathapol Ratanamongkolsak of the CSD stated that “The United States […] requested assistance from Thai police, and the police commissioner ordered the Crime Suppression Division to work on this case in late 2017.”

Mr. Medvedev in Possession of Over 100,000 Bitcoins

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in ThailandMr. Medvedev was arrested during a raid on his apartment in the Sukhumvit area, conducted by 30 CSD officers. The CSD officers seized numerous documents and a notebook computer from Mr. Medvedev.

CSD investigators have claimed that Mr. Medvedev was trading illegal products online in exchange for bitcoin. Thai media outlet, Bangkok Post, has reported that “judging by the evidence obtained during the Feb 2 raid, [Mr. Medvedev] had more than 100,000 bitcoin[s]” – at the time valued at approximately $800 – $900 million USD.

Thailand’s Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief, Thitiraj Nhongharnpitak, has confirmed that the raid took place. However, the CIB chief has declined to issue further details regarding the operation, stating that such is an international police matter and that more information will be made public soon.

FBI Cracks Down on Infraud

Cyber Crime Syndicate Co-Founder Worth 100,000 BTC Arrested in ThailandIt is alleged that Infraud was created during 2001 by Mr. Medvedev in partnership with Svyatoslav Bondarenko in Ukraine. Infraud has been described as a major hub for credit card fraud, with Deputy Assistant Attorney General David Rybicki stating that the site was “the premier one-stop shop for cybercriminals worldwide.”

Reports have indicated that similar operations designed to arrest 18 members of Infraud have been carried out in over a dozen different countries – expanding on prior efforts by the FBI to crack down on Infraud, which have previously seen the arrest of 32 individuals suspected of criminal involvement with the group.

Maj. Nattapol Rattanamongkol stated “This is an operation by the [US] Department of Homeland Security that involves spontaneous [raids] in 14 countries.”

What is your reaction to the arrest of Mr. Medvedev? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Khao Sod


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Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use – Regulatory Framework Expected in a Month

Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use - Regulatory Framework Expected in a Month

Thailand’s financial agencies have agreed that regulators cannot stop the use of cryptocurrencies within the country. The relevant ministries will meet and discuss the regulatory framework for digital currencies and initial coin offerings, which is expected to be finalized within a month.

Also read: Japan’s DMM Bitcoin Exchange Opens for Business With 7 Cryptocurrencies

Can’t Stop Crypto – Forced to Regulate

Thailand’s Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said on Thursday that “The government will not ban cryptocurrency trading,” the Bangkok Post reported, adding that “A regulatory framework to govern digital currencies will become clearer within a month.” At the “Thailand Takeoff 2018” seminar, he emphasized:

After a recent discussion, related agencies agreed that regulators cannot stop the use of virtual currencies but will have to regulate and control them in an appropriate manner.

Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use - Regulatory Framework Expected in a MonthThe Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (TSEC), the Ministry of Finance, the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Office, and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) will soon meet to discuss this matter in detail, according to Thai Rath.

In addition, “Mr. Apisak said that the best authority to take care of digital currency is the [T]SEC, because the [T]SEC is responsible for the oversight of securities,” the news outlet wrote. The finance minister also indicated that the Bank of Thailand is not the appropriate organization to oversee cryptocurrencies since they are not recognized as legal tender.

The regulators are “currently drafting legislation to oversee and regulate the use of digital currency, [which is] expected to be finalized within 1 month,” Channel 7 reported.

Regulating ICOs

Thai Government Cannot Stop Crypto Use - Regulatory Framework Expected in a MonthThe Thai government will also regulate ICOs. The finance minister asserted that if Thailand is to improve its fintech sector, it must be able to regulate cryptocurrencies and ICOs, Prachachat Turakij details.

Recently, a mobile distributor listed on the Thailand Stock Exchange (SET), Jaymart, announced plans to let its subsidiary, J Ventures, raise funds through an ICO. With a pre-sale in February and the official ICO in March, the company aims to raise 660 million baht (~USD$20.8 million) and will use the funds to “develop a decentralised digital lending platform” using blockchain technology, the Bangkok Post describes.

Finance permanent secretary Somchai Sujjapongse explained that the TSEC is taking responsibility for this matter and is conducting a public hearing on ICOs, the publication noted and quoted him saying:

There is no law governing ICOs, so Jaymart has not done anything wrong – but don’t cheat people.

Do you think the Thai government is taking the right approach to regulating cryptocurrencies and ICOs? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Thai SEC.


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PR: Gaming Ecosystem IQeon Anticipates ICO Success as Pre ICO Raised Significant Sum

Gaming Ecosystem IQeon ICO

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

After two preICOs that were a huge success for IQeon, the team is getting closer to the main token crowdsale. IQeon managed to raise the target sum during their first preICO ($1,165,000.00) and even closed it a couple of days before the official closing day. Many inquiries for investment brought to life the additional preICO, which was very flourishing as well.

That’s not a secret why the project is getting so much attention and is capable of getting the profound investment from institutions and individuals. IQeon is a revolutionary platform where players could earn on their gaming achievements and organize PvP bets on literally everything, starting from challenges on “I dare to..” and ending with bets on the results of any game existing on the Internet. This particular option is provided by the open API of IQeon gaming ecosystem.

The Blockchain technology backing up IQeon guarantees the protection and safety of the cryptowallet integrated into the personal account of each player. The IQN stored there could be used in any game hosted by the platform and exchanged into any other cryptocurrency via the inbuilt exchanger.

The Main Round of IQeon ICO starts on January 30 and lasts until March 13, 2018. The number of tokens issued for sale is 6.5M and the token exchange rate is 325 IQN for 1 ETH. IQN could be bought with ETH and BTC.

IQeon management team provides the flexible system of discount during the Main Round of ICO.

January 30, bonus is 30%
January 31-February 7, bonus is 25%
February 8-15, bonus is 20%
February 16-23, bonus is 15%
February 24-March 3, bonus is 10%
March 4-13, bonus is 5%

IQeon team is doing all that is humanly possible to make the functionality claimed in the roadmap be introduced as soon as possible. At the same time, IQeon project is actively promoted at conferences worldwide (Moscow, Great Britain, Thailand, etc.).

Everyone is welcomed to participate in the main token crowdsale! For more details, visit IQeon official website or stay connected through social network channels.

Tartu mnt 83-205, Tallinn,
Estonia, Harju maakond,
10115
support@iqeon.io

Supporting Link
https://iqeon.io/?utm_source=newsbitcoincom&utm_medium=3

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

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Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOs

Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOs

As part of its balanced approach, Thailand is taking further steps to regulate initial coin offerings by expanding current guidelines. Discussions on the framework between relevant institutions have already started, with a public hearing to be conducted soon. The first ICO to be carried out by a locally registered company is scheduled for March. The plan is to raise more than $20 million for a decentralized lending platform.

Also read: New Research: 10% of Funds Raised in ICOs Lost or Stolen

Growth in Other Countries Convinced Thailand to Act

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) are discussing a comprehensive regulatory framework that will cover fundraising through initial coin offerings, the Bangkok Post reported. A public hearing is expected to be carried out in the near future. Once completed, the new set of rules will be presented to the Commission’s Board of Directors for further consideration.

Current guidelines limit the maximum investment for retail investors to $10,000 per ICO and $95,000 per person. Using additional information gathered from participants in the market, the SEC’s Board of Directors will finalize the regulatory framework for token sales and related financial transactions. The matter is expected to be raised with the board in the first quarter of this year.

The ICO issue requires a coherent national policy because it is a major issue

So said SEC Secretary-General Rapee Sucharitakul, noting that the rapid growth of ICO fundraising in many countries is the main reason behind Thailand’s decision to address the matter at policy level. Token sales will be discussed when SEC’s Board of Directors reconvenes.

If ICOs are not regulated, investors and other participants may question their legitimacy, Rapee warned in further comments on the need of regulatory support for this type of investment. The Thai official highlighted the increasing popularity of initial coin offerings with investors and startups from the tech sector. In his words, ICOs are trendy because they can raise funds swiftly without requiring a financial statement.

Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOsOne such firm is planning to conduct an ICO in March. Jaymart subsidiary J Ventures is set to become the first SET-listed company to sell its own digital currency, releasing “JFin” through a token sale. The raised funds will be used to develop a decentralized digital lending platform integrated with blockchain technology. J Ventures hopes to collect more than $21 million USD in local currency in the first phase of the offering. Tokens will be priced at 6.40 baht each ($0.20 USD) and a total of 100 million coins will be offered through the ICO.

Initial Worries Set Aside

The SEC announcement represents a slight change in the generally positive attitude of the regulator towards initial coin offerings. Earlier comments by its representatives suggested some reservations but it seems that initial worries have been set aside. Assistant Secretary-General Praoporn Senanarong had previously stated that the new fundraising method posed “long-term disruptive risk to traditional financiers”.

At the time of his statement ICO regulation was promised by the second quarter of next year. Praoporn also shared concerns that token sales could replace initial public offerings in the long run. In his words, that would disrupt the traditional operations of asset management firms, investment banking, investment advisories, exchanges and brokers.

Thailand Taking Steps to Regulate ICOs

Seeking to adopt a “balanced policy with regard to ICOs”, last year the SEC expressed a desire to “strike the balance between supporting digital innovation and protecting investors from potential ICO scams”. The regulator warned that ICOs might be used as a tool for fraud, but also noted the potential of coin offerings to meet the funding needs of startups. Earlier this month Thailand’s regulators allowed bitcoin futures trading.

Under the new ICO regulations companies will be allowed to raise from retail investors up to 20 million baht (≈$640,000) per ICO project. The total fundraising amount is capped at 40 million baht (≈$1.3 million).

The Securities and Exchange Commission also intends to implement screening procedures for the ICO projects through a dedicated portal. Companies will be required to disclose the white paper detailing the project’s objectives, their business plans and models, intended use of proceeds, associated legal risks, management and advisory information, and details about the tokens.

Do you think that other countries in the region will follow Thailand’s move to implement balanced regulations regarding ICOs? Tell us in the comments section below.  

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Slideshare.net/PundiXLabs 


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