Tax authorities in Thailand are to start using blockchain technology as part of an effort to clarify where tax evasion is occurring and target those engaging in it.
Thailand is jumping on to the blockchain train in a big way. The country is even set to launch its own crypto next year. But in addition to cryptocurrency, the country is also pursuing blockchain solutions in many different areas. As blockchain technology is in effect a perfect record of transactions, its potential for acting as a log of who has done what and when in any situation is highly prescient. In this case, Thai authorities are turning to the digital solution and using it to close in on tax evaders.
Speaking to the Bangkok Post, director-general of the Revenue Department of the Thai Ministry of Finance, Ekniti Nitithanprapas has said that making use of blockchain and machine learning in the field of tax collection is his priority. He further stated however that the technology would not only be used to target tax evaders, but also to speed up the refund process for those who have been charged incorrectly.
From Tax to Wider Public Trust
This move comes hot on the heels of a seminar which was organised by the Thailand Institute of Justice in which participants were enlightened on the power of blockchain to enhance public trust. Torplus Yomnak, a corruption researcher and founder of the Hands Social Enterprise, who attended the event, explains that blockchain technology has a number of potential uses for stages in government procurement, which would improve transparency and accountability in governments.
“Blockchain could be used to promote transparency of information for anti-corruption and to increase the power of investigation,” he said in conversation with The Nation.
He also highlights its potential for promoting good governance in the private sector and as a form of electronic assets declaration for civil servants and state officers which could be used to avoid conflicts of interest and non-transparent investigation processes.
Intellectual Property and Start-Ups
Thai innovators are keen on trying blockchain solutions in many different areas. Blockchain has also been pitched as a tool to speed up the administration of intellectual property rights in the country. A feasibility study is in the pipeline to test how in reality a blockchain-based system could work for registration of intellectual property.
Earlier this year the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) launched a blockchain platform for crowdfunding start-ups and young businesses. LiVE as it is known, is a crowdfunding marketplace that allows start-ups and small enterprises to access capital from venture capital funds and institutional investors directly via peer-to-peer trading.
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Alex has been putting words on paper since he was old enough to hold a pen; when he bought his first bitcoin in January 2017, those words discovered their place within crypto as well. He holds a master’s degree in international relations from Leiden University in the Netherlands, and his special expertise lies in European cryptocurrency regulation.