Thai Regulators to Clamp Down on Crypto Payments for Goods and Services

Thai regulators said digital asset business operators had increased the use for payments for goods and services, posing a risk to the kingdom’s economy

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Grand palace and Wat phra keaw at sunset in Bangkok, Thailand. Credit: Shutterstock

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key takeaways

  • Thai regulators are looking at implementing new measures targeting crypto as payments for goods and services
  • Authorities say their widespread use in the nation’s economy poses signficant risk to the wellbeing of the kingdom’s economy

Financial regulators in Thailand are seeking to implement new regulations aimed at the country’s use of crypto for payments and related services, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Following a joint review, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Ministry of Finance said they intend to “avert potential impacts” to the country’s financial stability and have deemed it necessary to step in.

The regulators said digital asset business operators had increased their scope and use for payments within the kingdom and were at risk of destabilizing the country’s economic system.

Authorities are taking aim at merchants and businesses accepting crypto to pay for goods and services including the establishment of settlement systems outside their remit. In accordance with relevant legal frameworks, the regulators said they are considering “exercising power” to limit widespread adoption.

“The use of digital assets in this manner could also pose further risks to consumers and businesses through price volatility, cyber theft, personal data leakage or money laundering,” the statement reads.

BOT governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said in the statement that while his institution assesses the risks as well as the benefits of crypto and its underlying tech, a need for supervision of crypto as payment was needed.

Further regulatory guidelines are to be metered out for those digital assets that are “supportive of the financial system and financial innovation” while also not presenting a systemic risk.

Thailand’s latest move comes at a time when the country has been tackling the issue of how to monitor and regulate cryptocurrencies. Earlier this month, the Revenue Department of Thailand announced it was considering new tax measures aimed at scooping up uncaptured tax revenue from crypto trading.

Feedback from affected stakeholders as well as the general public will be taken into consideration to determine the appropriate regulatory frameworks, the regulators said.


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