Thailand has declared Bitcoin as illegal following which all trading activities related to the electronic currently has 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.

Following this ruling 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 up until the government has updated its laws such that it will allow existence of Bitcoin.

Over the last few months the company was working to register itself with various Thai government agencies in a bid to operate in a lawful manner. The registration process came to a standstill following a hurdle in the form of Bank of Thailand, which is responsible for regulating the financial transactions in the country.

Ban in Thailand is the first instance when Bitcoin has been officially deemed illegal; however, this is not the first time when the virtual currency has come under fire. Back in June authorities in US started examining Bitcoin for fears that Americans were evade taxes using the virtual currency. Mt. Gox has been repeatedly under DDoS attacks after the popularity of Bitcoin increased and its prices went up the roof. California served a Cease and Desist order to the Bitcoin Foundation back in June.

  • Fill

    Bitcoin doesn’t need to have a commercially run exchange to be used. What Thailand has said is that buying/selling/exchanging/etc Bitcoin through an *exchange* isn’t legal yet because the laws currently don’t permit such an exchange to operate (yet). My take is that Thailand didn’t ban Bitcoin entirely as a basic form of barter any more than banning chickens or bags of rice.