The Thai government has decided that the use of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as a means of payment is prohibited as of April 1. The purchase and storage of cryptocurrency is allowed.
The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand announced today that it no longer allows bitcoin as a means of payment as of April. The reason given by the SEC and the central bank, the Bank of Thailand, in a statement is that the risk to the stability of the financial system is too great.
In addition, people and companies are protected by the measure against the volatile price of cryptocurrency, ‘cyber theft’, the leakage of personal data and cryptocurrency can be used for money laundering. At least, that in the opinion of the SEC and the Bank of Thailand (BOT).
The BOT emphasizes that it is only about payments with cryptocurrency. Buying, trading and owning bitcoin or other cryptocurrency remains possible without breaking the law. Earlier this month, it was decided that trading on government-approved crypto exchanges will be exempt from the normally applicable VAT rate of 7% until 2023.
The two decisions in March are part of plans to regulate the crypto sector, as announced in January.
The ban on payments is bad for the part of the real estate market that focuses on foreigners. Last year, the use of cryptocurrency as a means of payment was specifically looked at for recovery. The Thai authorities are clearly not charmed by the creative idea of the parties to the real estate market.
The report focuses on consumer protection. It should not be inferred from the decision that the Thai government is against innovation.
“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 foster innovation,” the SEC writes.