The Southeast Asian country of Thailand, like most countries as of late, is embracing cryptocurrency since there’s a growing number of companies that prefer digital currencies like ether (ETH-USD) and bitcoin (BTC) as a mode of payment. However, the country’s central bank may well seem to have some concerns about such a move by these firms as they’ve warned them about the risks of utilizing crypto as a mode of payment.
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) in a press release mentioned that one needs to be cautious while using digital assets as means of payment for Goods and Services. The central bank’s PR statement revealed that some companies in the country have started soliciting payments in cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.
With that in mind, the financial institution has maintained a tough stance about it, as the recently released PR statement noted that digital assets are not considered as legal tender. Further, it was also stated that BOT does not support the idea of cryptocurrencies being used as means for payment for goods and services. The institution went on to explain that doing so, leads to risks for both buyers and sellers which include cyber theft, money laundering, and price volatility.
BOT x SEC to team up
It was also mentioned in the press release that in the event that the use of crypto assets has become rampant in the country, BOT will be coordinating with Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other agencies involved to take the necessary steps to make sure that these digital assets will not pose “extensive risks” to both the general public and the country’s financial and economic system.
The Bank of Thailand made it clear that they do recognize the significance of financial innovation and applications towards the improvement of payment systems adding that they will continue to ensure their people that they get the maximum benefits of such developments in the financial system. It then revealed that the BOT has a central bank digital currency (CBDC) that is currently in the works. Alongside this is the formation of policy guidelines to “regulate fiat-backed or other forms of stablecoins to provide more reliable digital payment channels” for their people.
Thai government and crypto
Thailand has this penchant for issuing policies for various areas of the cryptocurrency industry. In early 2021, the Thai SEC proposed a ruling that subjects investors to invest a minimum of one million baht ($30,696) to crypto. This caught the ire of stakeholders in that country as the said proposal garnered nothing but backlash from them. They (stakeholders) believe that the pitched policy would exclude both middle and low-income earners from the cryptocurrency market, BTC Manager noted. The agency then clarified all this as they stated that the intent to enforce the above-mentioned qualifications stated within the proposal was not there…yet.
Last month, the SEC devised a new ruling where the trade of meme tokens, fan tokens, exchange tokens, and non-fungible tokens on local exchanges are no longer allowed in Thailand. It is said that the agency’s decision is “aimed toward the cleansing the local digital currency market and ensuring consumer protection.”
This move can be deemed as a positive one since it’s pretty much evident that the SEC is committed to ensuring that the public will only trade in legitimate cryptocurrency projects rather than putting a ban on crypto trading itself.
As of late, these so-called “crypto amulets” have been sweeping Thailand’s cryptocurrency scene. Prices for these digital religious items go in the thousands if they are blessed by a popular and well-respected monk.