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BANGKOK: Thailand plans to ease tax rules for investments in digital assets, a finance ministry official said on Friday, following a surge in crytocurrency trading.

The relaxed rules will allow traders to offset annual losses against gains for taxes due on cryptocurrency investments, and exempt certain transactions from the 7% value-added-tax, Ekniti Nitithanprapas, director-general of the ministry's revenue department, told a news conference.

The rules will apply to transactions conducted via business operators or exchanges regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A 15% withholding tax will also not be required for transactions conducted on such exchanges, Eknithi said.

Digital assets have fast gained momentum in Thailand over the past couple of years, with average daily trading surging to 4.8 billion baht ($143.8 million) from just 240 million baht, Eknithi said.

Trading accounts jumped to about 2 million at the end of 2021 from just 170,000 early that year, he added.

"The world is changing fast and we have to adjust to keep up with that," Eknithi said.

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