Thailand Announces “Medium Of Payment” Ban For Bitcoin And Crypto

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand announced a ban preventing businesses from receiving cryptocurrencies as payment.

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand announced a ban preventing businesses from receiving cryptocurrencies as payment.

  • In accordance with the central Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a ban preventing business operators from accepting cryptocurrencies as a “Means of Payment” for their products or services.
  • The ban will not prevent investing or trading in cryptocurrencies, and should products or services used for investing be “misused” for payment services, operators are expected to inflict consequences.
  • A 3% investment cap would be levied against commercial banks and fintech companies looking to invest in digital assets, in a proposal from the Bank of Thailand.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for Thailand has issued rules barring digital asset operators from providing services in the sector that would allow the use of digital assets as a means for payments of goods and services, in a release from the SEC.

Business operators that accept payments in cryptocurrencies are prohibited from doing so and must comply with the order within 30 days of April 1st, as a way to safeguard and “prevent impacts on financial stability and the national economy.”

The translated announcement reads in summation as follows: “All types of digital asset business operators must not provide services or act in a manner that encourages or promotes the payments of goods and services with digital assets.”

The SEC specifies that advertising, soliciting, and any form of presentation that suggests medium of payment capacity from any products or services, and wallets made with specific designation towards medium-of-exchange, are all considered barred activity.

This protocol does not ban the ability to invest or trade in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, simply just the use of payment with said assets. In the statement, the SEC noted that the Bank of Thailand (BOT), as well as the SEC, “see the benefits of various technologies behind digital assets such as blockchain and emphasize and support the use of technology to further innovation and does not block the use of digital assets for investment.”

If a business operator discovers clients are using cryptocurrencies as a medium of payment with their products or services, then the operator is required to notify the SEC about any misuse of said product or service. Action required from business operators, should a client be found guilty of such activity, the SEC requires the operator to take action against those clients. “This includes temporarily suspending the service. Terminate the service or take any other similar action.”

Commercial banks might also become subject to a 3% investment cap, where only 3% of their investable capital can be allocated to digital assets, in a proposal reported on by Bloomberg that was introduced after the initial ban was announced. The investment cap is meant to strengthen confidence in the commercial banking system. 

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