Today the Thai-based Bitcoin Co. Ltd., an online bitcoin currency exchange, was forced to shutter operations after receiving notice from the Bank of Thailand that Bitcoin might be illegal due to the lack of any laws that explicitly allow it. From their website:
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.
Unfortunate news for any of you that live in Thailand and were hoping for a convenient Thai-based bitcoin exchange in the near future. There is some discussion on the development over on reddit and the bitcointalk forums.