Thailand Regulator Wants Banks to Refrain From Direct Engagement in Crypto Trading

This comes after Thai commercial banks started investing in cryptocurrency exchanges.

Thailand Regulator Wants Banks to Refrain From Direct Engagement in Crypto Trading

Photo Credit: Bank of Thailand

An estimated 3.6 million people in Thailand own cryptocurrencies

Highlights
  • Commercial Thai banks are entering crypto space
  • Bank of Thailand worried about the picking-up trend
  • Crypto culture continues to bloom in Thailand

Bank of Thailand (BoT), the central bank of the country, has said it does not want commercial banks to be directly involved in crypto trading. Chayawadee Chai-anant, the senior director of the BoT said that banks are available for people to deposit and safeguard their money, but with cryptocurrencies, the continuously fluctuating market movement exposes investors to financial risks. Since cryptocurrencies are unregulated and decentralised modes of online payments, they are often criticised by the central banks of many countries for challenging their authorities.

“If digital assets become widely used as a means of payment for goods and services, such risks could affect payment system stability, financial stability, and consumer protection,” a CoinTelegraph report quoted Chai-anant as saying.

The somewhat anti-crypto advice from the BoT comes at a time Thai commercial banks have begun investing in local cryptocurrency exchanges.

Earlier in August, for instance, Zipmex crypto exchange raised $1.3 billion (roughly Rs. 9,811 crore) in funding from the Thailand's fifth-largest lender, Bank of Ayudhya.

In November, Thailand's oldest bank called the Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) acquired the majority 51 percent stake in Bangkok-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub.

This interest of Thai banks in the crypto space has become a matter of concern for the country's central bank.

Sakkapop Panyanukul, the senior director of the BoT warned business owners against accepting crypto payments just last week. The official reportedly said that the use of other currencies as payment options will hinder the central bank's ability of monitoring the economy.

As per a report by Bangkok Post, the BoT is considering guidelines to regulate the crypto space to reduce the risks associated with the market.

Meanwhile, the crypto culture is blossoming in Thailand with an estimated 3.6 million people owing cryptocurrencies reportedly.

Earlier this year, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) had also proposed the launch of its own utility token called TAT Coin in order to attract crypto-rich travellers to visit the country and boost its economy. The coin has not yet been issued.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

Cryptocurrency is an unregulated digital currency, not a legal tender and subject to market risks. The information provided in the article is not intended to be and does not constitute financial advice, trading advice or any other advice or recommendation of any sort offered or endorsed by NDTV. NDTV shall not be responsible for any loss arising from any investment based on any perceived recommendation, forecast or any other information contained in the article. 

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Radhika Parashar is a senior correspondent for Gadgets 360. She has been reporting on tech and telecom for the last three years now and will be focussing on writing about all things crypto. Besides this, she is a major sitcom nerd and often replies in Chandler Bing and Michael Scott references. For tips or queries you could reach out to her at RadhikaP@ndtv.com. More
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