The government of Thailand voted in favor of Srettha Thavisin (candidate of the Pheu Thai Party) to become the country’s next Prime Minister. The 61-year-old has interacted with the cryptocurrency industry since the company he was in charge of was an active investor in the digital asset investment management firm XSpring Capital.
Thailand has been quite hesitant regarding how to approach the sector over the years., which could change under the rule of the new leader.
A Political Newbie but not a Crypto Newbie
Thavisin, who received 482 votes out of a possible 747, was elected as the 30th Prime Minister of Thailand earlier this week. He now needs the signature of King Maha Vajiralongkorn to officially step into office. Upon winning the majority of the vote, Thavisin stated:
“I feel greatly honored to be elected as the 30th prime minister of Thailand. I would like to thank every Thai, coalition parties, honorable members of the House of Representatives, every senator who joined the vote today. I will try my best in doing my duties tirelessly to elevate Thais’ lives.”
It is worth mentioning that Thavisin does not have rich experience on the political scene. He comes from the business sector as the former CEO of the real estate giant Sansiri. He is familiar with the crypto field since his company participated in a $225 million fundraiser for the digital asset management firm XSpring Capital.
“As a real estate company, we understand traditional finance is evolving, and the future calls for the de-intermediation between consumer and project finance. As a company, we strive for keeping up with innovation across all fields, and this investment fits perfectly our vision,” Thavisin said at the time.
Sansiri later purchased a 15% stake in XSpring Capital for $45 million and distributed its own digital currency called SiriHub Token.
Another interesting fact is that the Pheu Thai Party (the one which nominated Thavisin a Prime Minister) vowed to distribute 10,000 baht ($285) to each Thai citizen above 16 years if it wins the general election in May. The organization finished second, collecting 28% of the vote, while Move Forward was first with 38%.
Thailand’s Crypto Ecosystem
The local government was initially not so intrigued by the cryptocurrency industry, mainly focusing on the potential launch of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). It also planned to impose a 15% capital gains tax on profits generated from digital asset operations.
However, Thailand appeared to have warmed up a bit to the sector in the past several months, halting the taxation plans and contemplating regulating the usage of crypto for payments. The authorities have also explored ways to diminish scams involving digital assets, with one option being the closure of Meta (formerly known as Facebook).
Overall, it will be interesting to follow if Thailand’s next Prime Minister will continue the crypto revolution due to his affection for technological innovation and his past efforts.