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Thailand to officially regulate use of cryptocurrencies in payments

Thailand financial sector regulators are planning to release guidelines to contain the utilization of cryptocurrencies as a form of payment.

In a joint press release, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) stated that using cryptocurrencies in payment poses a threat to the country’s financial sector. 

The agencies acknowledged the widespread usage of digital currencies as a payment mode, but regulators need to focus on protecting consumers. 

Furthermore, the regulators stated that they had reviewed the benefits and shortcomings of digital currencies in payment and the risks of price volatility, cybercrime, data privacy, and money laundering stood out. 

“Recognizing such risks and implications, regulators will consider exercising power in accordance with the relevant legal frameworks to limit the widespread adoption of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services,” the statement read. 

The regulations are expected to focus on select cryptocurrencies while also factoring in the importance of financial innovation. 

According to Thailand’s SEC Secretary-General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, besides regulating the space, the agency has an obligation to promote the development of digital asset businesses alongside consumer protection. 

The regulators, however, did not reveal when the regulations are expected to be unveiled. 

Thailand increasing crypto sector regulations

With Thailand emerging as a critical cryptocurrency market, the country has recently increasingly focused on enacting laws for the sector.

Recently, the country’s finance ministry planned to implement a 15% capital gains tax on profits from cryptocurrency trading.

Similarly, in December, BOT cautioned banks against direct involvements with cryptocurrency trading platforms. The bank cited risks such as market volatility. 

The growth of crypto in the country is highlighted by a November 2021 SEC report that showed that digital currency transactions amounted to 205 million baht ($6 million). Notably, the month registered the last Bitcoin all-time high of almost $68,000.