According to recent research from crypto tax software company Recap, Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok is emerging as a new crypto hub, but the future may not be so rosy.
The Crypto Readiness Index, compiled by Recap late last month, revealed that Bangkok is ranked tenth globally. It revealed that the Thai capital has attracted 57 crypto companies, as reported by the Bangkok Post on Feb. 7.
Furthermore, Recap claims that Thailand has the world’s second-highest rate of crypto ownership. This is despite the military-backed government banning digital assets as a payment method last year.
Recap co-founder and chief executive, Daniel Howitt, said:
“While Thailand banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment last March, the regulation doesn’t affect trading or investment activity,”
Thailand Reaches Third Rank in Asia
Despite the promising results for Thailand, two Asian countries ranked above it. Hong Kong was in seventh position and Singapore was fourth in the world’s most crypto-ready hubs list, according to Recap. Remarkably, London came up top followed by Dubai.
However, Bangkok may slip down that list if the government and financial regulators get their way. Howitt warned that tightening crypto regulations may hinder crypto adoption in the Kingdom.
“With stricter rules in place, it’ll be interesting to see whether this helps or hinders Bangkok’s place as a crypto hub in the coming months.”
He also noted that Bangkok lags behind when it comes to research and development spending. Furthermore, outside of Bangkok, crypto is pretty much unheard of across the rest of Thailand.
The Recap research used eight criteria to determine its city rankings. These included the number of crypto workers and firms, crypto meet-ups, quality of life score, and R&D spending as a percentage of GDP, in each city.
Central Bank and Government Still Anti-Crypto
Nevertheless, the Bank of Thailand and the Kingdom’s ruling regime are still extremely wary of digital assets. Thai financial regulators are tightening rules on the trading of crypto and advertising of digital assets this year.
In December, BeInCrypto reported that the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission was preparing a crypto crackdown. The move follows similar efforts across the globe in the wake of the FTX collapse in November.
While the results of the survey placed Bangkok in a positive light for crypto, the future of digital assets in Thailand remains clouded under the current regime.
BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.