By James Lawrence - News - 2 months ago

Thailand Government Continues to Push Blockchain Solutions

Monday, November 5, the Bangkok Post reported, the Government of Thailand Revenue Department’s plans to utilize distributed ledger technology (DLT) and machine learning to fight tax avoidance and fraud.

Ekniti Nitithanprapas, Director-General of the Revenue Department, told reports that blockchain technology will be employed to immutably verify the validity of tax payments as well as speed up the tax refund process. He went on to express that machine learning will be targeted toward discovering tax fraud and create greater transparency throughout.

These are the latest plans in Thailand’s track-record of an open-minded approach to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), while not related to the US financial watchdog fulfill the same role as their US counterpart, have already created a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs). Taking effect from July 16, 2018, the regulation ensures digital currency issuers must be registered with the SEC before any sale of tokens can take place.

The regulatory environment continues, tax-wise, the Thai government collects 15 percent capital gains tax on the buying and selling of cryptos, there is also a seven percent value-added tax (VAT) but according to Apisak Tantivorawong, the government’s Finance Minister, most investors are exempted from it.

The Revenue Department’s announcement comes just over a week after the Thai Institute of Justice held a seminar championing blockchain as a technology to fight corruption while enhancing transparency. It also comes after Thailand’s Ministry of Commerce begun trials in decentralized solutions in copyright, agriculture, and trade finance. In the Commerce project, a Thai official also explained that blockchain feasibility studies would refer to processing digital IDs, IP registration management, and security, along with smart contracts.

Blockchain is also being applied in the financial sector, in September, Thailand’s fourth-largest bank, Kasikornbank, partnered with Visa’s B2B Connect program to provide its customers with blockchain-powered solutions for cross-border payments. As reported in CoinTelegraph, last month, Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand’s oldest bank, partnered with global management consulting firm Accenture to release a blockchain platform for supply chains.

Nitithanprapas, the Director-General mentioned above, did not reveal when the Revenue Department’s project would begin or what in particular it would be applied in.