Feeds

Bank of Thailand bans Bitcoin

Buying and selling Bitcoin banned, mining them still okay

Build a business case: developing custom apps

Bitcoin suffered a major blow to its international reputation on Monday after Thailand became the first country to outlaw the virtual currency outright.

The online-only currency biz had been trying to operate lawfully in the Southeast Asian country, requesting guidance from the Bank of Thailand about which licenses it needed to procure, it said in a statement.

The bank, which acts as the governing body of Thailand’s financial services industry, had initially ruled Bitcoin was not a currency, however, on Monday it changed its mind and apparently invited the firm back to a meeting with 15 bank officials.

The Bitcoin statement continued with the following:

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 ruling will be a blow to the virtual currency as it seeks to stay afloat in the face of increasing pressure from financial authorities across the globe.

Back in May, the US Department of Homeland Security prevented Americans from reaching Mt Gox – the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange – pending a further investigation into whether it was operating as an "unlicensed money service business".

There’s still a great deal of suspicion in official circles about the crypto-currency system which many suspect attracts a motley crew of punters including money launderers, terrorists and drug dealers.

That said, if financial regulators around the world won't even let Bitcoin get the licenses it needs to operate and be vetted properly, its hands will be pretty much tied. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Nintend-OH NO! Sorry, Mario – your profits are in another castle
Red-hatted mascot, red-colored logo, red-stained finance books
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Twitch rich as Google flicks $1bn hitch switch, claims snitch
Gameplay streaming biz and search king refuse to deny fresh gobble rumors
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.