Srettha Thavisin, previously the CEO of the prominent real estate firm Sansiri, has risen to the position of Thailand’s Prime Minister through the Pheu Thai party, following a doubted election. Before his political involvement, Sansiri had a footprint in the digital asset sector. In 2021, Sansiri acquired a notable 15% stake in XSpring, a Thai digital asset service provider in collaboration with Krungthai Bank, focusing on cryptocurrency services and licensed ICO facilitation.
Notably, Sansiri introduced the “SiriHub Token” on the XSpring platform. This token is linked to profits from the Sansiri Campus project, combining real estate and blockchain ideas.
At the core of Srettha’s political campaign lies the ambitious proposal of a national ‘airdrop,’ aiming to distribute 10,000 Thai baht (equivalent to approximately $300) to every citizen aged 16 and above. This monetary allocation comes with the unique condition that it can only be disbursed within a four-kilometer radius of the recipient’s residence. Facilitating this airdrop includes a new type of national token, different from current cryptocurrencies. People can change these tokens into money at specific banks, giving them a real financial choice.
Nonetheless, this grand initiative has been encountered with doubt, primarily due to its substantial projected cost of 500 billion THB (amounting to $14.3 billion) and the decision to leverage blockchain technology. Criticizers that launched digital banking initiatives, such as the Paotang wallet tailored for government initiatives, might present a more straightforward and practical approach.
Despite the ongoing discourse, succeeding sentiments anticipate that the new administration will show a more permissive regulatory landscape for cryptocurrencies, potentially triggering a surge in diverse Thai crypto ventures.
Recently, on August 19, 2023, Thai authorities revealed a large cryptocurrency scam, arresting Chinese businesswoman Fengpei Cai. The operation spanned 29 locations and exposed cross-border fraud involving cybercrime, fraud, and money laundering. Substantial assets such as luxury cars were seized.
On August 22, 2023, Thailand took a firm stance against fraudulent activities on social media, considering the possibility of a court-ordered shutdown of Facebook. This action is in response to the growing number of investment and crypto scam advertisements that have already victimized over 200,000 individuals.
As Prime Minister Thavisin’s administration assumes power, it’s anticipated that his pro-crypto stance may pave the way for transformative regulatory reforms, akin to those observed in financial hubs like Hong Kong. Thailand’s journey into the digital age is undoubtedly fraught with challenges, but with visionary leadership, it has the potential to redefine its position in the global economic landscape.