Thailand's Central Bank

Thailand’s Central Bank Orders Banks To “Stay Out Of” Cryptocurrencies

Thailand’s Central Bank Restricts Crypto-Related Activity

Thailand’s central bank has asked financial institutions to refrain from getting involved in cryptocurrency transactions. Notably, the country’s reserve bank has quite a few concerns regarding the use of digital currencies, particularly their unregulated trading. Dr. Veerathai Santiprabhob, governor of the Bank of Thailand, recently stated that banks are not allowed to invest in cryptocurrencies or open up centralized crypto-exchanges. They’re also prohibited from advising clients on how to invest or trade cryptos. Furthermore, Thai banks have been instructed not to allow their customers to buy cryptocurrencies using credit cards.

The reason for banning financial institutions from dealing in cryptocurrencies might be because Thailand’s central bank does not consider cryptocurrencies to be “legal tender”. Moreover, the country’s authorities have expressed concerns that digital currencies may be used for illegal purposes such as money laundering or to finance terrorism. In order to prevent abuse, Mr. Santiprabhob notes that his country will be diligently monitoring and regulating the use of cryptocurrencies.  Therefore, all national banks have been ordered to adhere to standard KYC (Know Your Customer) guidelines. KYC rules require that a bank or business properly verify the identities of their clients and comply with anti-money laundering regulations.

Thailand Will Not Ban Cryptocurrencies

Although cryptocurrencies pose many challenges, that doesn’t mean they should be banned completely, according to Thai regulatory authorities. Apisak Tantivorawong, the country’s Finance Minister, has even acknowledged that the nation’s regulators won’t be able to stop its citizens from dealing in cryptos. In fact, the minister recently issued the following statement“The government will not ban cryptocurrency trading. A regulatory framework to govern digital currencies will become clearer within a month”.

Additionally, Mr. Tantivorawong points out that Thailand’s central bank might not be adequately equipped to properly monitor and regulate cryptocurrencies. Instead, he has recommended that the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (TSEC) step in to manage the nation’s crypto-regulations. Based on these new developments, it seems like Thailand’s leaders are adopting a more sensible approach when it comes responding to the country’s crypto-related activity.

Learning From The Actions Of Others

It’s also quite possible that Thailand has learned a lesson from regulatory bodies in other countries that have failed in banning the use of digital currencies. For instance, China attempted to ban cryptocurrency trading last year, but could not effectively do so due to the emergence of peer-to-peer crypto-trading exchanges. Presumably, Thailand is trying to be more realistic in its approach to digital currencies by continuing to allow “legal” crypto-related activity, but also trying weed out the criminal elements operating in its crypto realm.

As reported previously by Core Media, Thai regulators have approved bitcoin futures trading. It seems that Thailand is moving in almost the same direction as more influential countries like the United States when dealing with the cryptocurrency market.