Thailand Announces Cryptocurrency Will Be Regulated as Means of Payment

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The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the country’s Ministry of Finance (MOF) jointly announced Tuesday their plan to regulate cryptocurrency as a means of payment.

The three regulators explained that after reviewing the benefits and risks of crypto assets, they “deem it necessary to regulate the usage of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services, to avert potential impacts on the country’s financial stability and economic system.”

Citing that crypto business operators have been offering services related to the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, including setting up crypto settlement systems, the regulators conceded:

This may result in a wider adoption of digital assets as a means of payment, aside from its usage as investment, which could potentially impact financial stability and the overall economic system.

The authorities then outlined various crypto-related risks to consumers and businesses, such as “price volatility, cybertheft, personal data leakage, or money laundering, etc.”

The announcement further details: “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.”

SEC Secretary-General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol clarified that the SEC, which regulates crypto businesses, has a policy to promote the development of digital asset businesses alongside consumer protection.

Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput opined:

At present, widespread adoption of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services poses risk to the country’s economic and financial system. Therefore, clear supervision of such activity is needed.

“However, technologies and digital assets that do not pose such risks should be supported with appropriate regulatory frameworks to drive innovation and further benefit for the public,” he concluded.

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