The Bank of Thailand has banned operations of the internet-only currency Bitcoin, citing a lack of existing laws and capital controls.
After a Bitcoin presentation to the Thai government aimed at explaining how the crypto currency works, as well as its benefits, the country’s authorities ruled that “…Bitcoin activities are illegal in Thailand”.
A Bitcoin team was in Thailand to allay government doubts and to get the currency legitimized in the country.
The verdict means that it’s illegal to use Bitcoins in settlements within Thailand, as well as send it to or receive it from any other country.
The decision by Thailand marked the first major stumbling block for the virtual currency towards wider acceptance. Bitcoin Co. Ltd hopes the country could change its mind at some point. “…the Bank of Thailand has said they will further consider the issue, but did not give any specific timeline,” Bitcoin said in a statement on its web site.
Introduced in 2009, the Bitcoin currency has recently seen
increased pressure on all fronts. The latest blow came from the US Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) in Texas that blamed the state’s Bitcoin
operator Trendon Shavers of McKinney for defrauding its clients
using a Ponzi scheme. Trendon Shavers promised its Bitcoin
investors a 7% interest per week. The SEC said the Texas operator
simply used money from new investors to pay out the promised
fortune to those already hooked, which represents a classical
Bitcoin has been seen by some US citizens as an
alternative to conventional money, to escape currency
manipulations by its government. It's a time when the traditional
greenback, as well as other world currencies, have been under
increased pressure due to the economic crisis.