Thailand Announces “Means of Payment” Ban on Bitcoin and Crypto

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Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a ban to prevent companies from receiving cryptocurrencies as payment.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a ban to prevent companies from receiving cryptocurrencies as payment.

In agreement with the Central Bank of Thailand, the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced a ban that prevents business operators from accepting cryptocurrencies as a “method of payment” for their products or services. The ban does not prevent investment or trading in cryptocurrencies, and if products or services used for investment are ‘misused’ for payment services, operators are expected to face 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 prohibiting digital asset operators from providing services in the industry that enable the use of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services, in a release from the SEC.

Business operators accepting payments in cryptocurrencies are prohibited from doing so and must comply with the order within 30 days of April 1, as a way to protect and prevent financial stability and the national economy.

The translated announcement reads in summary as follows: “Digital asset operators of all types shall not provide services or act in a manner that encourages or promotes the payment of goods and services with digital assets.”

The SEC specifies that advertising, solicitation, and any form of presentation that suggests a payment medium for products or services, and wallets created with a specific medium of exchange designation, are all considered excluded activity.

This protocol does not prohibit the ability to invest or trade in bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, only the use of payment with said assets. In the statement, the SEC noted that the Bank of Thailand (BOT), like the SEC, “sees the benefits of various technologies behind digital assets such as blockchain and emphasizes and supports the use of technology to promote innovation and not block the use of digital assets for investment.”

If a business operator discovers that customers are using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment for their products or services, the operator must notify the SEC of any misuse of the product or service. Action required from business operators, should a customer be found guilty of such activities, the SEC requires the operator to take action against those customers. This also includes the temporary suspension of the service. Please terminate the service or take some other similar action.”

Commercial banks could also be subject to a 3% investment cap, with only 3% of their investable capital being allocated to digital assets, in a proposal reported by Bloomberg and submitted after the initial ban was announced. The investment cap is intended to boost confidence in the commercial banking system.

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