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Thai central bank declares Bitcoin illegal

bitcoinBitcoin cannot be used in Thailand anymore

The central bank of Thailand has stated that any Bitcoin payments are illegal. One of the reasons is that there are currently no existing laws for cryptocurrencies. One local exchange had to stop its services due to the verdict.

Wired, states that the Thai central bank has stated that buying and selling Bitcoins is illegal. Also, it is no longer allowed to buy or sell anything with Cryptocurrencies in general aswel as receiving any from foreigners.  It is unclear wheter the law will be changed but untill then the local bitcoin exchange Bitcoin Co. will be offline.

Illegal after discussion about the workings of Bitcoin Co. exchange

The statement came after the Thai central bank had a discussion with Bitcoin Co about the workings of the exchange. The conclusion was that no existing laws apply to any cryptocurrency for that matter. Due to this it was decided to declare all cryptocurrencies illegal. Longer ago the Thai central bank already stated that it didn’t see Bitcoin as a currency.

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Mt. Gox: Dollar withdrawals not suspended, only delayed

Mt. GoxMt. Gox states: U.S. Dollar withdrawals only delayed

Mt. Gox released a statement today regarding the temporary suspension of U.S. dollar withdrawals, there were lots of reactions about the statement they made earlier this week where they stated to stop with U.S. dollar withdrawals completely for the coming 2 weeks. Due to the recent loss of several payment methods this seemed to be related and thus created rumors about not being able to do U.S. Dollar withdrawals at all anymore through Mt. Gox. Luckily this doesn’t seem to be what is really happening.

Large volume of cryptocurrency transactions

As cryptocurrencies have become more and more popular over the last months, the banks that work with the exchanges start to struggle because they have to deal with a great amount of transactions which puts a lot of pressure on their resources. They are working on developing new methods and will deal with the transactions manually the coming 2 weeks, this is what is supposed to cause the delay. Off course also the attention Mt. Gox is receiving should not be underestimated. Media, banks and individuals contact and point to Mt. Gox when speaking about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies putting a strain on their resources also.

New trading engine ready, Litecoin soon coming to Mt. Gox?

The good news is that their new trading engine is ready and being tested as we speak. Currently Mt. Gox only exchanges Bitcoin but they have announced that they will support Litecoin transactions as soon as their new trading engine is ready. Since the engine is ready and performing well it could be a matter of weeks before Litecoin comes to Mt. Gox. In their statement they say that they are looking at July for Litecoin Introduction. When Litecoin comes to Mt. Gox it would probably give a significant boost to the Litecoin exchange rate so it might be something worth monitoring over the coming weeks.

Official Mt. Gox statement:

Dear Mt. Gox Customers and Bitcoiners,

The reaction since yesterday’s statement regarding the temporary suspension of U.S. dollar withdrawals has had mixed reactions, and raised more than a few questions about why we had to take this step right now. Rather than be subject to inaccurate speculation we’d like to clarify some points here. Due to pending matters we are unable to get into everything in great detail, though we’d certainly love to and are looking forward to the opportunity.

1) The problem with the U.S. withdrawals (and even other currencies for that matter) is that our bank can no longer handle the volume of withdrawals. They struggled in the last two months, and the increase due to the Dwolla separation has made it increasingly more difficult. The pressure we brought onto the bank’s resources finally gave in, and we are now working with them to find an alternative method (hence the suspension). We would have preferred to give notice if we were able to, but it was sudden for us as well.

2) We are now working with new banks and alternative methods for transmitting money to our customers. This does not mean we are stopping entirely within the next two weeks, but it will be slower than we would like. We are literally going to use our manpower to process withdrawals ourselves, manually. This will take more time, but we are dedicated to doing as many per day as possible. We announced a suspension in order to manage expectations while we deliver at a temporary reduced rate. Our goal is to have a new system set up in the next weeks with clarity for both the banks and for our customers.

3) Our previous release was rather vague, but for a reason. Mainly, we don’t want to upset our bank! They do great work, but our kind of business is completely new to the banking industry. Processing international wires does not just involve pushing a button. It requires real manpower processing everything individually, even in this modern computer age. While Bitcoin’s power lies in its ability to transfer fast and securely through software, the rest of the financial world does not operate like that (contrary to popular opinion). Money is surprisingly analog in many ways, and scarily digital in others.

4) Every customer’s funds are safe, sound, and accounted for. In fact, in our dealings with the Japanese financial regulators we have been assured that we are not under local pressure or suspicion and can operate as usual within normal legal frameworks.

5) Mt. Gox is certainly not a martyr, but it would be hard to argue that we aren’t “taking one for the team” as far as Bitcoin is concerned. We are a big target, and are absorbing the frustrations of Bitcoiners, regulators, banks, and a media that still doesn’t quite understand what Bitcoin is. This is a job we are happy to fill, and not just because we are compensated for it. Our hope is that, once Bitcoin finds its place, we will be able to say that we made a difference in sorting it all out in the early days. New exchanges, business models, merchants, traders, and consumers are rising up to innovate and create a whole new way of doing business. A lot of lawyers are getting new cars in the meantime too.

6) As risky as it is to invoke the name of Litecoin (LTC???), we must apologize for not keeping everyone up to date. The fact is that the current situation means a continued delay, but for good reasons. We’re looking at July right now, though that depends on a few things. Mainly, we want to do things correctly from the beginning.

7) The new trading engine is finished, is smokin’ fast, and is currently undergoing bench tests. We’re looking forward to deploying it very soon.

While not the most in-depth update we’d like to give, we hope that it has at least clarified a few things. In the next few weeks we are planning to do another AMA on Reddit when we’ll hopefully be able to answer many more questions and also shed some light on what’s been going on at Mt. Gox these past months. Thank you for your patience and support.

Source: Mt. Gox Facebook

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