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Crypto Regulatory Movement: Thailand regulates, Indonesia blocks life, Russian Treasury defies ban

Thailand regulates crypto as a medium of exchange

The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the country’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) have jointly decided to regulate the use of crypto as a medium of exchange. They cited the threat of financial instability and crime as the main reason for this decision

Bot announced its management decision in a press release recently after realizing how digital asset companies are expanding the functionality of cryptocurrencies as a medium of exchange.

In fact, many companies, including Google and Mastercard, now allow the use of cryptocurrencies with providers that do not directly accept crypto. Meanwhile, companies like OpenNode are building Bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network for institutions like the Perth Heat.

Thai regulators are interpreting these developments as a shift in cryptocurrencies from an “investment” to a “medium of exchange.” They fear that this could lead to financial instability.

However, regulators intend to limit the “widespread use” of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment. Nonetheless, there are certain assets that are considered “supportive” of the financial system and for which regulatory guidelines are being issued. This could include a CBDC, with the BOT planning a pilot.

Earlier this month, Thailand plans to impose a 15% capital gains tax on crypto gains, Cointelegraph reported. Bitcoin Magazine. However, the country’s former SEC director opposed the move, encouraging the policy in favor of the commercial sector.

Indonesia blocks the way of life

Indonesia’s top currency watchdog – the Financial Services Authority (OJK) – has banned local businesses from using, providing or enabling crypto services. The regulator believes that trading Bitcoin and altcoins is risky due to their heightened price volatility.

The country’s authorities have taken a hostile stance towards the crypto industry in recent months. In November 2021, the National Ulema Council (MUI) pointed out that digital assets are fraught with “uncertainty, bets and harm”. The organization demanding such investments should therefore be declared “haram” – a term in the Islamic religion meaning “forbidden”.

Last week another organization – Tarjih Muhammadiyah – abandoned cryptocurrency as a form of illegality for Muslims. The organization argues that bitcoin and altcoins are speculative and are not backed by other assets such as gold.

“OJK has banned financial services institutions from using, marketing and/or facilitating crypto trading,” OJK criticized the burgeoning asset class.

Alongside the usual argument for cryptocurrencies’ notorious volatility, the regulator has pointed out that pyramid scheme scams can thrive in the industry. Therefore, investors should be aware of all the risks surrounding the ecosystem before investing in it.

Despite the negative view of the crypto world, the Indonesian government continues to allow the sale of bitcoin and altcoins on exchanges under the supervision of the Commodity Futures Trading Regulator. However, locals cannot use digital assets for payments within the country’s borders.

The Russian Ministry of Finance is against the ban

Just days after the Central Bank of Russia proposed banning cryptocurrencies in the country, the Ministry of Finance spoke out against the idea.

Less than a week ago, the Central Bank of Russia discussed the role of digital assets in the financial sector and proposed a ban on the use, trading and mining of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin Magazine reported.

One of the main points of the proposal concerns the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of financing criminal activities and activities such as fraud and money laundering. The proposed new laws and regulations aim to block all crypto-related businesses from operating in the country.

The director of the financial policy department of the Ministry of Finance, Ivan Chebeskov, stressed that this would leave the country behind in the high-tech industry.

Although the Treasury Ministry is opposed to the idea of ​​banning cryptocurrencies, the ministry welcomes moves to regulate the industry and has prepared a blueprint for the idea, Chebeskov said specified at the RBC Crypto Conference. However, everyone is still waiting for a response from the heads of government.

“We need to give these technologies a chance to grow. In this context, the Ministry of Finance is actively involved in formulating legislative initiatives to regulate this market.”

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