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3 questions really... I have a Non-immigrant visa 0. If I want to buy bitcoins and trade crypto currencies on an exchange will I need a work permit or investors visa? Or would I be fine and legal staying on my Non-O visa as I am only changing currency? Also if they go up in value, is there any tax to pay when I sell them? I seem to be getting conflicting information. Does anybody know for sure? I understand that I cannot work on my Non-O visa but does trading Bitcoin qualify as work? Thanks. :0)
Not legal or tax advice, so take this at your own risk: My assumption would be that investments (especially if it's your own money) won't require a work permit.
It better not be 'changing currency' as using Bitcoins to exchange currency (e.g. THB to USD) would probably be the most likely thing to get you into trouble: There were reports that this would count as circumventing the BoT monopoly on currency exchange. Bitcoin itself is also not recognized as a currency in Thailand as far as I know.
If I recall correctly, Thailand also doesn't take you on capital gains that are not brought into the country into the same year. So there's a chance that any profits you make on foreign marketplaces with bitcoins may be tax free.
Long story short - it's a murky area and I assume you won't be getting a clear answer. Keeping a low profile and hiring a tax and immigration specialist if the amounts become worthwhile would probably be the best course of action. In the mean time, if you're trading on Thailand-operated Bitcoin exchanges, I'd reach out to them for comment.
Yes that makes sense. I'll ask at an exchange. Thanks Karsten.