The Bank of Thailand stated that the central bank does not support the use of digital currencies for making payments, due to their high price volatility and the risks of cyber-theft.
“High volatility of digital asset prices, risk of cyber theft and personal data leakages and tools for money laundering could impact customers and businesses,” the Bank of Thailand (BoT) said in press release.
However, the Bank of Thailand and the Securities and Exchange Commission are planning to issue guidelines, in light of the increasing use of digital assets in payments for goods and services.
Many shops in Thailand already allow customers to pay with cryptocurrencies, including “Inthanin Coffee”, where 21 out of 750 of its branches accept such payments, according to a ThaiPBS report.
The BOT, in coordination with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other relevant agencies, is considering guidelines to regulate the usage of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services to limit risks.
Several businesses such as Property developer SC Assets Plc, or retail giant the Mall Group already announced a partnership with digital assets exchange platforms, like Zipmex or Bitkub, to allow customers to buy property using digital assets.
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is also planning to launch its own cryptocurrency token called TAT Coin, as part of its “cryptourism” campaign— an initiative aimed to attract wealthy crypto investors to revive the tourism sector devastated by Covid-19 restrictions.
The future looks promising for cryptocurrencies in Thailand after Siam Commercial Bank Pcl – Thailand’s oldest private bank- invested 17.85 billion baht ($525 mln) to buy 51% of Thailand’s leading digital asset exchange, Bitkub Online Co.
Bitkub Online Co. became Thailand’s latest unicorn reaching a valuation of more than $1 billion after it sold a majority stake to the nation’s biggest bank by market value.
Demand for risky assets such as cryptocurrencies has boomed in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy as young investors seek better returns amid low-interest rates and an economic slowdown.
The University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce’s economic forecasting centre expects the Thai economy to expand by 1.5% this year, owing to various government measures to stimulate the economy.
Although Thailand was recently ranked 11th of the countries and economies with the greatest interest in crypto in 2021 – on the Crypto Interest Index conducted by Coinformant – the Thai central Bank remains cautious about using digital assets as payment for goods and services