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Cryptocurrency Banned in Thailand for Payments of Goods and Services

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Thailand’s Securities Commission Bans Cryptocurrency for Payments of Goods and Services

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday it is prohibiting the use of cryptocurrency for the payment of goods and services.

The ruling however does not ban investment in cryptocurrency, which has grown in popularity in the past year after being promoted by local exchanges.

As a result, the Securities and Exchange Commission is taking steps to protect the country’s financial and monetary systems against threats including money laundering and cybercrime.

In addition, the regulation specifically prohibits the promotion of cryptocurrency for payment and the distribution of software and devices for that purpose.

As well, it states that operators of digital asset businesses must inform their clients of the ban, and they can suspend their accounts if they violate it.

Businesses have until April 31 to comply with the ban.

Among other things, the Bank of Thailand plans to allow banks to invest up to 3% of their capital in digital assets, an assistant Bank of Thailand governor said on Wednesday.

Ms. Roong Mallikamas told a news conference that the revised rules will be introduced around the middle of the year. These rules will increase flexibility while upgrading supervision to cover evolving risks.

In order to limit the potential risks that could affect the confidence of banks, Roong said, units of commercial banks will be allowed to invest a maximum of 3% of their capital in regulated digital asset businesses, such as digital asset exchanges.

According to her, the central bank has not yet permitted commercial banks to operate directly in the digital asset market.

Roong added that digital assets remain risky.

However, the Bank of Thailand plans to remove the current limit of 3% of bank capital that can be invested in fintech, so commercial banks can better take advantage of financial technology.

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