- The SEC in Thailand has banned crypto payments in the country.
- Its new decision is expected to become enforceable in April.
- The SEC reiterated that the government still maintained support for the blockchain industry, clarifying that the decision does not affect crypto investments.
The Securities Exchange Commission today has placed restrictions on crypto as a means of payment. They believe that it poses risks to the nation’s financial stability.
Crypto Payments Outlawed
Thailand’s SEC today has outlawed the use of crypto as a medium of exchange in the country. The regulators came up with this decision after discussing the benefits and inherent risks from crypto and blockchain technology with the country’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BOT).
They concluded that the use of cryptocurrencies for payment was potentially harmful to the country’s financial stability and economy. Price volatility, risks of theft, and potential use cases in money laundering were amongst the reasons cited by the SEC that led them to this decision.
The SEC report read, “the use of digital assets as a medium for payment of goods and services Because it may affect the stability of the financial system and the overall economy. including risks to people and businesses such as the risk of loss of value caused by price volatility Risk of Cyber Theft Risk of personal data leakage or being used as a tool of money laundering.”
As per the SEC’s new decision, crypto service providers and vendors or merchants in the country are encouraged to stop providing or facilitating such services. Suppose a crypto service provider discovers that a customer has used its services to make payments. In that case, the service providers are to inform the SEC and restrict activities on the said account.
The SEC’s new ruling is to take effect from the 1st of April. However, businesses that already offer such services would be given till the end of April to cease such operations. The crypto market in Thailand has grown massively over the last couple of years. As per a Bloomberg report, government data estimates that Thai citizens hold about $3.4 billion in crypto assets.
Crypto Investments Not Affected As The Thai Government Still Supports Blockchain Technology Innovation
The SEC in their release, clarified that the restriction was only on using cryptocurrency as a means of payment and in no way affected citizens investing in crypto. It was stated that “digital asset traders/investors can carry out normal investment/trading related transactions.”
The SEC also maintained that the government still supported blockchain technology and was working to provide a regulatory environment where innovation can be encouraged in the industry. Recall that earlier this month, the country had offered tax incentives to investors and businesses in the crypto industry.
“… the BOT and the SEC, as well as other government agencies, see the benefits of various technologies behind digital assets such as blockchain and emphasize and support the use of technology to further innovation.”