The Bank of Thailand (BoT) announced on Thursday that digital assets are not legal tender. When using digital assets as a means of payment, both the payer and the payee may face risks such as price fluctuations, network theft, and money laundering. Some digital assets are investment tools, and investors must understand the risks of holding.
BoT does not support the use of digital assets as payment methods for goods and services. This view is consistent with many international organizations and regulatory agencies, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), and England, the European Union, South Korea and Malaysia Central bank.
Siritida Panomwon Na Ayudhya, Assistant President of BoT Payment System Policy and Financial Technology Group, revealed that BoT has been monitoring the development of digital asset use cases.
Recently, some companies have begun to use digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum as payment methods for goods and services. BoT has previously reiterated that digital assets are not legal tender. Doing so constitutes a barter trade between digital asset owners and providers of goods and services, and the payer and receiver mutually accept all the risks involved.
If the use of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services becomes widespread, BoT will coordinate with the SEC and other relevant agencies to take necessary measures to ensure that they do not pose widespread risks to the public or the economic and financial system.
The announcement stated that BoT recognizes the importance of financial innovation and applications to improve the efficiency of the payment system to support economic activities, and will continue to ensure that the public fully enjoys the benefits of innovation and development.
At present, BOT is developing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and formulating policy guidelines to supervise stablecoins backed by legal tender or other forms, and provide a more reliable digital payment channel for everyone. The proposed CBDC roadmap released in April of this year stated that the preliminary test agreement is scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2022.
In addition to CBDC and certain stable currencies, Thai regulators have issued many guidelines for individual cryptocurrency traders and businesses.
Earlier this year, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand put forward a minimum annual income requirement for crypto investment in Thailand, requiring 1 million baht (approximately US$32,000). After strong public opposition, the commission was forced to abandon this plan .
Last month, SEC officials issued a notice prohibiting the Thai exchange from processing meme-based tokens, fan tokens, NFTs, and exchange-issued tokens.
At the same time, crypto trading volume on the country’s exchanges seems to continue to rise. Data released by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand in April showed that from November last year to February this year, the total trading volume of the exchange increased by about 600%. If this upward trend continues, the total trading volume may exceed US$4 billion.
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