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Bank of Thailand warns people from using cryptocurrencies

The Bank of Thailand recently posted a press release on their official website last July 8th, warning people against using digital assets as means of payment for goods and services. The statement said that digital assets such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) are not considered legal tenders and may expose users to risks such as price volatility, cyber theft and money laundering.

The Bank of Thailand’s assistant governor of payment systems policy and financial technology group, Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya, claimed that the Bank of Thailand is ‘continuously monitoring the development in the use of digital assets.’ She added that they have observed some enterprises in the country are soliciting digital assets such as Ether and Bitcoin as payment for the company’s goods and services.

The bank stressed their disapproval for crypto in the press release, saying ‘The BoT does not support the usage of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services, a view that is consistent with many international organizations and regulators such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and central banks of England, the European Union, South Korea and Malaysia’.

The Bank of Thailand warned that if the use of digital assets becomes widespread, they will coordinate with the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as other related agencies to take the ‘necessary’ measures to mitigate the risk to the general public.

The press release also discussed the central bank digital currency (CBDC) currently being developed by the Bank of Thailand. The CBDC was first announced in a press release posted on the official website of the Bank of Thailand titled ‘The Way Forward for Retail Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in Thailand’ published on April 2, 2021.

Alongside this, the Bank of Thailand also announced on their website on March 17, 2021, that they will be forming a policy guideline to help regulate fiat-backed currencies and other forms of stable coins. According to the bank, the use of crypto is affecting the general public’s confidence in the stability of the national currency system, which is the cornerstone of all economic activities in Thailand. The bank claimed that the policy will help provide a more reliable digital payment channel for all.

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