Thailand votes for crypto payments, yet warns of price fluctuations

Sun 12 Dec 2021 ▪ 13h27 ▪ 4 min read — by Felix Meyer

Bank of Thailand’s representatives claimed the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment is “not illegal” within the country. Yet, their main recommendation is to always remember and assess associated risks, price fluctuations in particular.

Buy in crypto, still watch out

Using crypto to pay for goods and services is not prohibited in Thailand, as claimed by Sakkapop Panyanukul, Senior Director of the Monetary Policy Department of the Bank of Thailand (BOT). This week he tried to eliminate any ambiguity in the central bank’s position on cryptocurrencies.

The Bank of Thailand is currently discussing ways to regulate cryptos with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), stakeholders and related agencies. The bank’s ultimate goal is to minimise consumer risks that pop up with the use of cryptocurrencies for payments.

Some citizens already use cryptocurrency to pay for goods and services in Thailand. On that matter, Panyanukul stressed that “it’s not illegal… but [users] must be able to accept the risks.”

Crypto equals barter trade

At the same time, the Bank of Thailand notes that crypto is not a legal tender and applying it as a means of exchange is a basically barter trade between the owner of the asset and the goods or services provider, where both should understand and accept all risks.

Chayawadee Chai-anant, another leading specialist of the Bank of Thailand, clarified that many central banks all around the world are concerned that cryptocurrencies risk financial stability. So, for now, it’s ok to use crypto until you get all the risks related.

On Tuesday, the central bank of Thailand revealed it still can’t recommend commercial banks to directly participate in trading crypto assets due to the risks associated with high price volatility. As Chai-anant stated at a press conference, “We don’t want banks to be directly involved in digital asset trading because banks are (responsible) for customer deposits and the public and there is risk.”

Back in July, the Bank of Thailand issued a warning on the use of digital assets as a means of payment. In October, the country’s prime minister warned investors against investing in cryptos, claiming they are unstable and highly speculative. 

Then, in November, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) announced it was cooperating with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the central bank to make it easier for visitors to spend cryptos within the country. “Crypto is the future, so we must make Thailand a crypto-positive society to welcome this group of quality tourists,” said the TAT governor.

Thailand is in two minds about crypto, however, the Bank of Thailand officials strive to outline the crypto climate in the country. They claim digital assets can be used as means of payment, but it stays crucial to know all the risks, such as price fluctuations.

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Felix Meyer

Le trading et l'analyse technique sont mes spécialités depuis 4 ans. Je décortique le marché et vous partage mon expertise.


The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author, and should not be taken as investment advice. Do your own research before taking any investment decisions.

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