The Cryptocurrency landscape in Thailand has experienced several twists and turns but is growing very fast.
The Thai Government and Regulators such as the Bank of Thailand and the The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), have approved a number of crypto exchanges in the last few years.
Thailand changed its stance on digital assets and the Kingdom now officially recognizes BTC as a legitimate currency. This legitimization also includes other cryptocurrencies, a select list of which were published in the Royal Enactment on Digital Asset Businesses BE 2561 (2018).
In 2021 cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) were propelled into the spotlight as an alternative form of investment. Thailand now has several regulated and approved Digital Asset Exchanges such as Bitkub, Binance, eToro and more.
Can you buy real estate in Thailand with crypto?
The short answer is YES.
But, before you start shopping for real estate in Thailand to buy with crypto, there are a few aspects to consider:
1. Finding a Seller and Negotiation
A significant challenge any buyer will face is finding a seller willing to accept crypto as a form of payment for their property. This is a major issue facing most crypto buyers as it limits the real estate options available.
If a crypto sale is agreed between the buyer and seller, the additional issue of pegging the exchange rate (I.e., BTC/ THB or ETH/ THB) will also be a major point of negotiation.
The good news, is that some real estate agents, especially in Thailand’s coastal cities, have started to advertise both sales and rental listings where the landlord accepts crypto.
2. Foreign Buyers and the FX Forms
Another important legal hurdle, specifically for foreign buyers are the laws and regulations surrounding foreign property ownership in Thailand. Foreigners cannot directly own land and can only own Condominium Freehold Titles (Condos).
The sale and transfer of condos is usually made at the local Land Office and they require a “Foreign Exchange Transaction Form”. This FX Form is issued by a Thai Bank as proof that funds were transferred from overseas and in foreign currency. This is a legal requirement for the Land Office to approve and process the transfer of a condo.
Obtaining this document from a Digital Exchange is currently not possible. As a result, obtaining this document would require the engagement of a “Third Party Intermediary” to facilitate the sales process.
At the moment purchasing real estate in Thailand using crypto is likely going to be mostly the domain of Thai nationals.
Leading Thai developers accepting cryptocurrencies
The Covid-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for the adoption of crypto and putting them in the spotlight as an alternative investment and legitimate form of currency.
The challenging market conditions of 2020-21 and H1 2022 have encouraged many established and well-recognized Thai Developers to seek opportunities in the crypto space. Many have announced their intention to accept crypto as a form of payment for their new developments or even for the payment of real estate services such as common area and management fees.
Thai developers that have decided to accept crypto
An SET-Listed Developer announced that it is working with cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub Capital Group Holdings to start facilitating the digital currency exchange service for home purchases.
Origin Property is another established SET-Listed Developer joining hands with Bitkub Capital Group Holdings to accept various cryptocurrencies including Ethereum, Tether USD- USDT and Bitcoin for a specific selection of their low and high-rise projects.
Ananda Development, the company behind the Ideo and Ashton branded developments is also partnering with Bitkub to accept digital assets for the purchase of all its residential projects.
Perhaps the most ambitious move is by the highly-established Sansiri, which has invested a total of THB 1.6 billion into XSpring Capital. This company is a financial and brokerage firm that is expanding its financial services into the cryptocurrency space.
Sansiri plans to partner with XSpring Capital to accept digital currencies as a form of payment for all its housing projects. The developer is also working on the possibility of launching ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) to enhance the investment returns of its real estate offerings.
Thailand real estate and the cryptocurrency situation
Thailand’s crypto landscape and its growing influence on the local real estate market is definitely an interesting space to watch. It is important to note that the Thai regulations and laws surrounding these new age digital assets are still work in progress and subject to possible changes.
Many property professionals view cryptocurrencies and digital assets as a way to stimulate the real estate market. This represents a great opportunity in the increasingly fast-paced and digitized post-COVID world.
Legal disclaimer: Fresh Property is not a law firm and we are not qualified legal professionals. This article was published purely to offer an overview of the current trends in the Thai Real Estate Market. This article should not be construed as legal or investment advice.