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Thailand Government Declares Bitcoin Illegal

timothy posted about a year ago | from the money-with-government-that's-unheard-of dept.

Bitcoin 185

hypnosec writes that the government of Thailand "has declared Bitcoin illegal following which all trading activities related to the electronic currently have been suspended indefinitely. Through a message posted on its website, the Bitcoin Co. Ltd. has said officials of the Foreign Exchange Administration and Policy Department cited absence of applicable laws, capital controls "and the fact that Bitcoin straddles multiple financial facets" as reasons because of which the virtual currency is illegal. This ruling implies that activities such as buying & selling of Bitcoins, buying or selling any service in exchange of Bitcoins, sending Bitcoins to anyone located outside of Thailand, and receiving Bitcoins from anyone outside of Thailand are illegal. This has forced the company to indefinitely suspend operations."

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185 comments

Can any government really stop BitCoin? (5, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44421931)

Kids are always curious about things their parents forbid. Adults are always curious about things their government forbid.

The Streisand effect on BitCoin is going to be huge.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (2)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44421953)

Kids are always curious about things their parents forbid. Adults are always curious about things their government forbid.

The Streisand effect on BitCoin is going to be huge.

Easily.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (4, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | about a year ago | (#44421985)

Kids are always curious about things their parents forbid. Adults are always curious about things their government forbid.

The Streisand effect on BitCoin is going to be huge.

A government can make it illegal by proving it's only used by criminals, pedophiles, terrorists, and gang members. A government can prove this by entrapment, and other corrupt practices, to make anyone they want look like that.

So a few big stings of pedophiles and child pornographers using Bitcoin and that is all it would take to kill Bitcoin. The reason being is when you have the words pedophile and Bitcoin in the same new story over and over again whether it's true or not it forms a subconscious association in the viewers mind. It's classical conditioning.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422087)

Don't pedophiles use hard currency, credit cards, cars, clothing too? I'll bet they use household cleaners all the time. Shouldn't government ban those things as well to prevent pedophilia?

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#44422393)

Don't pedophiles use hard currency, credit cards, cars, clothing too? I'll bet they use household cleaners all the time. Shouldn't government ban those things as well to prevent pedophilia?

Like Tide [schneier.com] .

You can't make this stuff up.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (5, Funny)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44422821)

Like Tide [schneier.com].
You can't make this stuff up.

How cool is that? A currency with actual intrinsic value. Easy to launder, too.

*ducks*

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422093)

in this case proving really means suggesting

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (0)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44422099)

The reason being is when you have the words pedophile and Bitcoin in the same new story over and over again whether it's true or not it forms a subconscious association in the viewers mind. It's classical conditioning.

I've already met people who claimed bitcoin only exists to facilitate money laundering, that there are no other uses at all. They were rendered speechless when I pointed out that the EFF accepts donations denominated in bitcoins. Too bad being speechless meant they could not retract their claims either, the argument just came to a standstill.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about a year ago | (#44422363)

I've already met people who claimed bitcoin only exists to facilitate money laundering, that there are no other uses at all.

Same as cash, yo.

Yo? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422509)

And expression popularized by the drug dealers on "The Wire".

funny

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422405)

The reason being is when you have the words pedophile and Bitcoin in the same new story over and over again whether it's true or not it forms a subconscious association in the viewers mind. It's classical conditioning.

I've already met people who claimed bitcoin only exists to facilitate money laundering, that there are no other uses at all. They were rendered speechless when I pointed out that the EFF accepts donations denominated in bitcoins. Too bad being speechless meant they could not retract their claims either, the argument just came to a standstill.

It would be interesting though to have an unbiased research on how the active bitcoin use today break down in % of value transferred. I'm torn on this non-traceability of transactions being on balance good or bad. There are good use cases for guaranteed transaction anonymity, but there are bad ones as well. I unfortunately did a little too much digging into the darknet side of bitcoin and ended up with among other things human trafficking in women and children for bitcoins. Yes, these things happens without bitcoin to, but today the money trail is how they are busted. Following the money is how almost all large pedophile ring busts have come about, it is how you can crack down on economic crime (someone from US will say that you don't anyway, but even so the US isn't the whole world), etc. Yes, you could carry a large amount of cash, but you can't effectively send it.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422515)

The reason being is when you have the words pedophile and Bitcoin in the same new story over and over again whether it's true or not it forms a subconscious association in the viewers mind. It's classical conditioning.

I've already met people who claimed bitcoin only exists to facilitate money laundering, that there are no other uses at all. They were rendered speechless when I pointed out that the EFF accepts donations denominated in bitcoins. Too bad being speechless meant they could not retract their claims either, the argument just came to a standstill.

It would be interesting though to have an unbiased research on how the active bitcoin use today break down in % of value transferred. I'm torn on this non-traceability of transactions being on balance good or bad. There are good use cases for guaranteed transaction anonymity, but there are bad ones as well. I unfortunately did a little too much digging into the darknet side of bitcoin and ended up with among other things human trafficking in women and children for bitcoins. Yes, these things happens without bitcoin to, but today the money trail is how they are busted. Following the money is how almost all large pedophile ring busts have come about, it is how you can crack down on economic crime (someone from US will say that you don't anyway, but even so the US isn't the whole world), etc. Yes, you could carry a large amount of cash, but you can't effectively send it.

I think that people who think that bitcoin is sticking it to the man will get a rude awakening, it is quite the opposite letting the corrupt and criminally rich screw society over even more without any chance of accountability.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422809)

it is quite the opposite letting the corrupt and criminally rich screw society over even more without any chance of accountability.

The corrupt and criminally rich are already doing it. Untracable money means the rest of us can be left alone by them.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44422215)

hmm? none of those things are required for government to make things illegal. they don't need to show things like that, they can just make it illegal. asia is full of things that are illegal for random reasons like the west as well. you're talking about propaganda to make people want it to be illegal, thus making it illegal through public opinion.

and ffs you can't import boxers or even boxes with the thai flag to thailand, singapore has banned jehovas witnesses magazines...

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44422549)

Singapore has banned jehovas witnesses magazines.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (2)

bunratty (545641) | about a year ago | (#44422461)

Governments can make anything they want to illegal. The U.S. government still claims marijuana is a highly dangerous drug with no known medicial properties, and therefore it is a Schedule I drug. The government doesn't have to prove anything to make something illegal.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#44422757)

They just have to convince enough people that it ought to be illegal. Which was the OP's entire point.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about a year ago | (#44423653)

And by "enough", you mean, of course, the required percentage of their respective legislative bodies. Beyond that, no one else really matters.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423233)

"The government doesn't have to prove anything to make something illegal."

Yes it does. Thats why laws trying to ban violent video games never stick - the govt cannot prove they are potentially harmful.

Laws trying to ban abortion in the first trimester dont stick as it cannot be proven that the fetus is at that point a functional human.

The govt does and continues to try to prove marijuana to be dangerous - it just uses its own skewed research.
If, as you claim, the govt didnt need to prove anything then why would the govt conduct the research at all?

Yes, the govt needs to be able to prove a potential threat to others from a behavior in order for it to have authority to restrict that behavior.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423535)

yeah, right, people are so dumb.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422011)

Thailand is run by a military junta with a thin coat of democracy paint on the outside, for appearances' sake. They can ban whatever the fuck they want, at least within their own country. Just don't go there.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44422127)

you can get death penalty in those areas for drugs.
are those areas full of drugs? absolutely.

they got some other funny laws too.

They (probably) don't need to (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | about a year ago | (#44422141)

The Streisand effect on BitCoin is going to be huge.

No it isn't. Ordinarily I would agree with you but frankly very few people care about Bitcoin or have any reason to care about Bitcoin. NOBODY who is doing meaningful amounts of currency exchanges is going to want to bother with it. Since I don't buy or sell illegal drugs I honestly cannot conceive of any circumstance under which I would use it, even if I ignore the inherent exchange rate risk and liquidity problems.

Re:They (probably) don't need to (0)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#44422561)

Since I don't buy or sell illegal drugs I honestly cannot conceive of any circumstance under which I would use it.

Would you like a side order of spam with your FUD?

Re:They (probably) don't need to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422727)

I don't think what he said was FUD at all. It comes down to - at some point you will have these BitCoins and want to exchange them for something (physical product, service, license for entertainment, etc.). These folks that have to accept it for payment will be regulated. Over time, less and less of them will be able to legally accept your BitCoins. The value of the pretend coins will diminish over time as people find that they cannot be used for products that they want to buy. Not FUD. Reality.

Re:They (probably) don't need to (5, Insightful)

Cajun Hell (725246) | about a year ago | (#44423725)

I would agree with you but frankly very few people care about Bitcoin or have any reason to care about Bitcoin.

You probably don't care much about Yuan-Dollar exchange rates much either, but you sure as hell have reason to care about it!

We used to see the (approximate and debatable) 3% that Visa and Mastercard skims from nearly all sales transactions, as merely the cost of doing business, and a worthwhile expense in exchange for the service they offer. And yet, now The People have the tech to avoid that charge, so what used to be a 3% expense is considered 3% economic damage, a parasite. Most of us probably don't really have visceral bad feelings about Visa quite on the scale implied by the word "parasite" and yet, whenever you're buying a larger ticket item (a house, a car) you negotiate like hell over figures much smaller than 3%. And when I think about how much money I spent on my car, compared to how much money I have spend on fueling and maintaining my car with a plastic card, the plastic card's costs dwarf anything I ever negotiated with my car dealer. Visa and Mastercard's expenses are right there in your face, for anyone who looks into it. There's reason to move to something cheaper.

Or threaten to move to something cheaper. You don't necessarily have to do it, as long as you can prove you're willing to do it. Who knows, maybe Bitcoin is what'll get Visa merchant charges down to 0.3%. Isn't it interesting that your grandparents had the same percentage skimmed off their lives, whereas you today live in a higher tech world where the expenses of providing transactions services, are tiny by comparison.

In the end, Bitcoin is just another market force. There are plenty of indirect ones out there (exchange rates, decisions made by central banks, etc) that you don't think about much, or ever take actions on, and yet they have a profound effect on your economic well-being. It's fine to say you don't care, but for fuck's sake, don't say people don't have reason to care!

Re:They (probably) don't need to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423823)

Bitcoin is just another market force

Also, 0.0000000000001 is not zero.

Re:Can any government really stop BitCoin? (1)

Grismar (840501) | about a year ago | (#44422807)

The Streisand effect applies when you're trying to avert attention from something but inadvertently attract attention to it in doing so. I don't think it applies here. Nobody is trying to avert attention from anything. In fact, I'd expect their government to be pleased as punch with so much free publicity for a simple policy change.

If your point is that telling people about illegal currency only makes them want to use it more, I think you're overestimating the general appeal of bitcoin. Main reason for bitcoin's popularity is that it's both difficult to trace and not illegal. One of those is no longer true in Thailand and I don't think that will improve its popularity with criminals in Thailand, nor with most others valuing the former.

Don't mistake my point for agreement with their policy though. I don't think bitcoin as it stands has lasting potential, but that doesn't mean I agree with a decision like outlawing it.

Two illegals make a legal (5, Funny)

conner_bw (120497) | about a year ago | (#44421941)

Bitcoin illegal? Damn, how am I going to by my illicit drugs now?

Re:Two illegals make a legal (0, Troll)

conner_bw (120497) | about a year ago | (#44421989)

Or spell buy correctly?

Re:Two illegals make a legal (1)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#44422655)

Well, now that you've posted this on the Internet, you'll probably have an opportunity to buy them with blow jobs and cigarettes very shortly.

Rule of Law (5, Informative)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#44421949)

In a country where insulting the king carries a 10 year penalty [nytimes.com] , as far as the king is concerned, the concept of Rule of Law essentially means: I rule, you follow the law.

Re:Rule of Law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422183)

the king has said many time that he does not want anyone in prison for "insulting" him, but those in power love a catch-all crime where the mere suggestion is enough to remove political or otherwide undesireable elements. just like other places uses mohamed, pedofiles, terrorist, communists, drugdealers etc.

Re:Rule of Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422551)

Nice try, but we know you're just saying that so you don't get thrown in prison for insulting the king!

Re:Rule of Law (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422591)

the king has said many time that he does not want anyone in prison for "insulting" him, but those in power love a catch-all crime where the mere suggestion is enough to remove political or otherwide undesireable elements. just like other places uses mohamed, pedofiles, terrorist, communists, drugdealers etc.

And Obama promised hope and change, better transparency, and a roll back of many Bush era policies. Just because he says it doesn't mean he means it, it's simply deflection and the deflection of the king has been pretty well documented.

Re:Rule of Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423167)

Just because he says it doesn't mean he means itAnd yet people voted for him.

You guys have been practicing democratic elections for over 230 years and still haven't figured out how to sift through a proposed candidate's bullshit.

Vague promises like "hope" or "change" are invariably complete tripe, and can be treated as deliberated lies for all practical purposes, even if they genuinely have the intent at the time. Even at best they are so subjective that it is impossible to suggest that any candidate could offer such things during their term as elected president.

But the quickest way to sift through the BS is to listen to what they answer when asked "how". How is the candidate going to accomplish any particular thing that he or she says... look for answers to what they are going to do, and what time fame, specifically, they are talking about doing them. :Look for specific as possible answers on absolutely everything that they claim they are going to try to do ANYTHING that they claim but either will not or cannot specific about, you can disregard. Somebody who is sincere about what they are going to do will probably volunteer this information before even being asked about it (kind of like *gasp* ... transparency).

Re:Rule of Law (1)

FatLittleMonkey (1341387) | about a year ago | (#44422691)

the king has said many time that he does not want anyone in prison for "insulting" him,

So sending people to prison for insulting the king is ignoring the king's specific, repeated request. Which seems pretty insulting.

(Does he have the power to issue pardons? If he does, and doesn't pardon "insulters", then his words are hollow. If he doesn't have any powers to overrule bad government... then what is he for?)

Re:Rule of Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423595)

If he doesn't have any powers to overrule bad government... then what is he for?

He's a powerless figurehead, like the Queen of England. That's how modern constitutional monarchies work.

Re:Rule of Law (1)

rock_climbing_guy (630276) | about a year ago | (#44423679)

I have followed some of the stories about people going to jail for insulting the king.

The short version is that he sometimes pardons people jailed for insulting him, but after they've been arrested and in jail for a while.

Re:Rule of Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422521)

As opposed to the US, where you're not allowed to attend White House press conferences if the President doesn't like your news company and has the DOJ tap your phones and spy on you.

Re:Rule of Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422635)

You're lucky it's just 10. In Canada, that act gives you 14 years in jail. CCC 49.

Re:Rule of Law (1)

fwice (841569) | about a year ago | (#44423077)

replying to remove incorrect mod!

That's fine, no karma points for you! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44421957)

I'd imagine karma points on /. to be the equivalent to any form of currency. It takes years of quality posting to bring up that karma and that's a lot of work. It's worth something, it's a token, and it's digital. Got a problem with that Thailand?

Re:That's fine, no karma points for you! (2)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | about a year ago | (#44422003)

/. karma points are worth something?

How do I trade them in for valuable stuff?

Re:That's fine, no karma points for you! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422189)

/. karma points are worth something?

How do I trade them in for valuable stuff?

I heard you can trade them for a night with Cowboy Neal. Whether you consider that trade a value proposition is an exercise left to the reader.

Re:That's fine, no karma points for you! (1)

superwiz (655733) | about a year ago | (#44422687)

You already do. You trade them for the most precious commodity you have: your time.

Re:That's fine, no karma points for you! (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year ago | (#44423225)

People would sell slashdot accounts on ebay, back when Karma was uncapped.

Re:That's fine, no karma points for you! (2)

maroberts (15852) | about a year ago | (#44423129)

Despite my occassional (lame) attempts to troll, mine has stayed glued on "Excellent" for several years now - does that give me a AAA karma credit rating?

Re:That's fine, no karma points for you! (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | about a year ago | (#44423179)

I'd imagine karma points on /. to be the equivalent to any form of currency. It takes years of quality posting to bring up that karma and that's a lot of work. It's worth something...

Only if you believe it to have value. I've accumulated far more karma over the years here than I can ever "use", for no other reason than because I'm too lazy to be bothered creating another ID to replace this rather tired one. Having karma points simply means you're not wasting your life (and everyone else's time) by being a troll.

Here's a protip: if karma's important to you, stop posting as AC.

Its inevitable (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#44421967)

Countries that tightly control moving money in and out will restrict or ban bitcoin

Re:Its inevitable (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422245)

Countries that care about their citizens being defrauded will restrict or ban bitcoin.

Stop the ball from rolling (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44421975)

Governments are not going to allow an alternate form of currency to gain traction that they have no control over.

Re:Stop the ball from rolling (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year ago | (#44422759)

Governments are not going to allow an alternate form of currency to gain traction that they have no control over.

Ah! That would explain why US currency isn't accepted anywhere else on the planet.

Re:Stop the ball from rolling (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#44422839)

Ah! That would explain why US currency isn't accepted anywhere else on the planet.

Indeed, what he should have written:

"Governments are not going to allow an alternate form of currency to gain traction that they have no control over, unless coerced via threat of violence by a power with overwhelming military force".

That which applies to an individual and their taxes vis-a-vis government, applies in geopolitics as well :)

Bitcoin is not backed by anyone, so there is nobody to "force" its usage. We will just have to see if the sheer weight of people using it will accomplish the same thing without a central government.

and not a single fuck was given... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44421979)

so like... an anonymous, decentralized, secure, untraceable "problem" is being tackled by a public, centralized, unenforceable "law".

lel? lol? lmao? hurdur? keke? man... I don't have any acronyms for this one. why? because fuck you, that's why.

Re:and not a single fuck was given... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422235)

If you honestly think anything is anonymous, secure and/or untraceable then you're a moron. Even more so when you consider that most governments don't need absolute proof to turn anyone into an example.

And if this wasn't bad enough we're seeing that even though more and more people are realizing that they're becoming the victims to government snooping there is next to no serious backlash.

This has forced the company to indefinitely suspe (4, Interesting)

Dthief (1700318) | about a year ago | (#44421993)

" This has forced the company to indefinitely suspend operations"

huh? which company....bitcoin doesnt only run out of thailand, does it?

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (0)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#44422053)

Suspend operations in Thailand. At least that's what I gather from other news outlets.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422303)

You might say that bitcoin operations are "thai'd up" at the moment.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422397)

Thai as I might, I can't ignore that pun.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (4, Informative)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44422105)

I was thinking the same thing. There are no Thailand-based bitcoin companies at all. And they say "trading activities related to the electronic currently have been suspended indefinitely." Um, no, it's encrypted and mostly unblockable. So unless they inspect every computer and remove the bitcoin client software, they can't block it.

I think the BS news that they're puffing up is that the Bank of Thailand is no longer accepting electronic fund transfers from the bitcoin exchanges. As for "stopping trading or use" all I have to say is lol, no.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44422275)

Oh no, however will BitCoin cope with the inability to convert into Thai WhateverTheFucks.

Yes, Thai WhateverTheFucks, because although I know many currencies in the world off the top of my head, Thailand's is that unimportant I really can't even remember what their currency is called, if it was ever relevant enough for me to have ever known in the first place.

Call me when it can no longer be switched to US dollars, Euros, Pound Sterling or whatever and maybe then I'll care because whilst it can still be converted to one of those currencies it can then still then be trivially converted on to any other currency in the world including Thai WhateverTheFucks.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (1)

GTRacer (234395) | about a year ago | (#44422435)

Per Wikipedia, the Thai WTF is called the baht. Cheers!

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#44423731)

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Now it makes sense! Bitcoin for years has been using the Bhat symbol on the keyboard to represent Bitcoin similar to $ for dollars. That explains why they're not thrilled.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423787)

More importantly, the baht has a symbol which is also used as the symbol for bitcoin:

The somewhat more common bitcoin symbol has two vertical lines (like the US dollar), but still - maybe the Thai government doesn't like the possibility of confusion?

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (2)

LaminatorX (410794) | about a year ago | (#44422447)

You seem to be unaware that the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 was touched of by the collapse of the Thai Bhat. That is not unimportant.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (1)

pla (258480) | about a year ago | (#44422629)

You seem to be unaware that the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997 was touched of by the collapse of the Thai Bhat. That is not unimportant.

I would consider that very relevant to this news, actually!

As in, if I lived in SE Asia, right about now I'd do my damnedest to convert all my liquid assets to gold, ammo (if legal there), Euros, and yes, BTC.

History has a funny but pretty consistent trend, that when a country starts to get really paranoid about locking down control over its currency supply, that currency collapses shortly thereafter.

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#44422785)

That was 16 years ago. Did you miss the rise of China, and the growth of India in the meantime? Even Indonesia's economy makes Thailand look irrelevant now.

Thai Baht = THB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422497)

The currency is known as the Baht, or THB (Thai Hooker Boys). The current exchange rate is 1 EUR for about 41 THB.

Re:Thai Baht = THB (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422721)

The currency is known as the Baht, or THB (Thai Hooker Boys). The current exchange rate is 1 EUR for about 41 THB.

Wow. That many rugby players for just 1 Euro?

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422547)

Bitcoin Co. Ltd is a Thai company. Obviously rhere's plenty others that deal in Bitcoin around the world, but this particular operation will have to shut down (for the foreseeable future).

Re: This has forced the company to indefinitely su (4, Interesting)

Jon_E (148226) | about a year ago | (#44422899)

That would be the Bitcoin Co Ltd exchange (https://bitcoin.co.th/) .. that's having issues with the Bank of Thailand (Thailand's central/reserve bank) ..bahtcoin is still open for the moment

This appears to be ramping up - last month bitspend had it's accounts frozen from Chase citing potential money laundering, and new allegations of ponzi schemes are making all the federal regulators nervous - as they should be

probably wise economically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422023)

yes, the prohibition goes against economic freedom. but, considering that bitcoin production is extremely resource-intensive (and substantial negative external effects result from energy production and consumption), prohibiting it may actually improve economic welfare.

Re:probably wise economically (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423849)

Perhaps, in your Olympian wisdom, you might grace us all with an energy/resource comparison between the production costs of bitcoin and that of gold.

Thanks in advance for the crickets...

"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422029)

next we'll hear that "american goverment outlaws high interest savings" when Bank of America won't give someone a decent rate.

Re:"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (4, Informative)

cgt (1976654) | about a year ago | (#44422367)

Bank of Thailand is the central bank of Thailand. Bank of America is not part of the US government.

Re:"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422639)

Don't confuse the situation with facts....

Re:"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#44423169)

The central bank of the united states is The Federal Reserve.
From Wikipedia:

In its role as the central bank of the United States, the Fed serves as a banker's bank and as the government's bank.

and

Each regional Bank's board consists of nine members. Members are broken down into three classes: A, B, and C. There are three board members in each class. Class A members are chosen by the regional Bank's shareholders, and are intended to represent member banks' interests. Member banks are divided into three categories large, medium, and small. Each category elects one of the three class A board members. Class B board members are also nominated by the region's member banks, but class B board members are supposed to represent the interests of the public. Lastly, class C board members are nominated by the Board of Governors, and are also intended to represent the interests of the public

So we have a central bank, that is for the most part, run by the banks themselves.

Re:"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423507)

I see your counter point, and raise you the fact that M&M's are, in fact, made of chocolate, even thought they are candy coated. QED.

Re:"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423241)

Bank of America is not part of the US government. The US government is part of Bank of America.

Don't confuse facts with the situation.

Re:"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423299)

Bank of America is not part of the US government.

More like the other way around...

Re:"Bank of Thailand" != "Thailand government". (0)

Desler (1608317) | about a year ago | (#44423047)

Informative? Are the mods truly that dumb?

Litecoin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422033)

So Litecoin is ok I guess..

Re:Litecoin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423589)

yeah, sure, the king has bought tons of litecoins so he can make a quick buck banning bitcoin.

Outside Thailand (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422035)

That's Thailand's problem. Here in the United States, we will continue to trade it, laws be damned.

Re:Outside Thailand (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44422335)

It's the good old American way like claim salting and selling the Brooklyn Bridge.

TFA (4, Informative)

Meneth (872868) | about a year ago | (#44422039)

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

Based on such a broad and encompassing advisement, Bitcoin Co. Ltd. therefore has no choice but to suspend operations until such as time that the laws in Thailand are updated to account for the existance of Bitcoin. The Bank of Thailand has said they will further consider the issue, but did not give any specific timeline.

Really Thailand? (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | about a year ago | (#44422107)

I should thing their monetary authorities more concerned with money laundering around their globally infamous prostitution and heroin trades, rather than the drop in the bucket of illicit activity carried out via Bitcoin. Perhaps it's just that they haven't figured out how to take bribes via Bitcoin yet.

Re:Really Thailand? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#44422323)

I think you'll find that's exactly why - bitcoin is a potential vector for that money laundering. It's got other uses besides being a pyramid scheme scam aimed at geeks if that hot potato is unloaded quickly enough.

constraint? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422145)

You may call it a law, I call it a challenge.

Re:constraint? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a year ago | (#44422193)

You may call it a law, I call it a challenge.

I take it you are verbally challenged. Or is that verbally legal?

"It's too hard! To understand! So we ban it!" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422175)

So much for these officials ably serving the needs of the country.

Re:"It's too hard! To understand! So we ban it!" (0)

Skapare (16644) | about a year ago | (#44422659)

It's more an example that shows governments serve no useful purpose.

Bitcoin out Litecoin in (1)

LiteTree (2991411) | about a year ago | (#44422567)

so if Bitcoin is now outlawed I guess they can start using Litecoins or any other cryptocurrency. Just a moving target at this point. P2P always wins.

Re:Bitcoin out Litecoin in (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44422965)

There are no laws about litecoin in Thailand, so it is also illegal there.

Re:Bitcoin out Litecoin in (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#44423613)

Exactly, either they outlaw specific virtual currencies in which case the user just start up using a new virtual currency, or they try to outlaw all of these virtual currencies with a single law, which would probably end up making things like WiiShop points and other virtual currencies illegal as well.

This is how some legal systems work in Asia (2)

sethotterstad (2947867) | about a year ago | (#44423027)

Many Americans are surprised to learn that in many Asian countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and China, what is not specifically legal is viewed as illegal. If there are no laws about something, it is illegal there. Obviously the authorities do not choose to enforce the law against the vast majority of people's illegal actions, but that is the way their legal system works.

Re:This is how some legal systems work in Asia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423621)

ok so any new invention is illegal? all new drugs illegal? that sounds weird

Law in Thailand (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423137)

They also kill people for having a bag of drugs but you may fuck their children. Great legal system.

Value (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44423561)

And in what is SURELY unrelated news, BitCoin's value has jumped in value $10+ USD over the past day or so.

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