If you have a thing for coffee and crypto, then this cafe in Thailand is undoubtedly for you. 

Dubbed by its owner as the HIP Coffee & Restaurant, its usual scene is an array of customers staring at screens and their devices while anxiously sipping their iced beverages. The cafe has been transformed into a sanctuary for trading, providing its customers with access to the latest market updates, keen advice on investing, and community support… along with some good coffee and delectable pastry to go with it.

Interestingly, though the cafe was opened in 2013, it was in 2020 when it was given a crypto makeover. Since this development, the company’s customer base has significantly increased, according to the cafe employees. Meanwhile, the manager Oakkharawat Yongsakuljinda said that his coffee shop provides its customers of the neighbouring province of Nakhon Ratchasima with new investment prospects in the form of free investment advice; he also said he might introduce a virtual coin of its own.

A 35-year-old crypto trader admitted the cafe is an interesting place for him since he gets to meet individuals with whom he can share his interests. He explained that traders share knowledge with each other, which can help him compete with millions of others. 

Speaking of sharing information, if there’s no such coffee shop close to your home, you can always use an online crypto platform to connect with brokers and capable traders and access insights into the cryptocurrency market.

Behind the crypto buzz at the cafe lies the cultivating interest in digital assets in Thailand, which has put regulators on edge.

Cryptocurrency Gaining Traction in Thailand

According to recent figures, Thailand’s cryptocurrency market has been gaining steam, with up to 251 billion baht or $7.62 billion in digital assets moved in since November 2021.

As a result, Thailand stated that it would start regulating the use of digital assets as payment methods due to possible dangers to financial stability and the economy as a whole. 

Thailand’s central bank and market regulators recently announced that digital asset operators might be prohibited from supporting the use of cryptocurrency as a form of payment for goods and services in an effort to reduce possible risks.

The Bank of Thailand, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ministry of Finance, released a statement claiming that digital asset business operators and the use of digital assets as payments might affect Thailand’s financial stability. The announcement followed a warning issued by a regulator in Indonesia against cryptocurrency sales. 

Despite a surge in crypto use, authorities have made it clear that they do not favour the usage of cryptocurrency as a payment method. The new rule will be subject to a public hearing before becoming effective, as mentioned by expert Charuphan Intararoong. The only positive is that at least individuals won’t be banned from trading digital assets.

Crypto Regulations in Thailand

Such regulatory issues have become a priority as Thailand keeps gaining traction in the crypto industry – with businesses and real estate developers being open to accepting digital assets as payment methods.

The potential for broader adoption of digital assets as a means of payment and investment in the cryptocurrency market could pose risks to businesses and individuals due to “cyber theft, personal data leakage, or money laundering,” prompting regulators to establish strict frameworks for digital assets.

Furthermore, Thailand is also looking to impose a 15 per cent capital gains tax on income from cryptocurrency trading – a result of the country’s growing crypto sector. 

Cryptourism in Thailand

While there are many regulatory issues to deal with, there is no doubt that the crypto market growth in Thailand is impressive. 

This can open numerous opportunities. For example, Thailand’s central bank stated its intention to test a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the second quarter of 2022 to decrease risks in the country’s financial industry.

Also, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) wants to launch its own utility token called TAT Coin as part of a planned ‘cryptourism’. Experts claim that crypto nomads can boost the national GDP.

If that happens, cafes like the one serving crypto advice will become essential. When trading, however, always sip due diligence.