Thai Central Bank Bans Repositories From Cryptocurrency Activities

Announcements, News, Regulation | February 13, 2018 By:

Bank of Thailand, the country’s central bank, said it has asked financial institutions to refrain from doing any business involving cryptocurrencies.

Last week, during his speech at the “Thailand Takeoff 2018” seminar, Thailand’s Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said the government will not ban crypto trading because the regulators cannot stop the use of crypto in the country. But a regulatory framework to govern cryptocurrencies will become clearer within a month. He also indicated that the Bank of Thailand is not the appropriate institution to regulate cryptocurrencies, as it does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender.

However, in a circular issued on Monday, the Bank of Thailand seemed ready to put a full ban on cryptocurrencies rather than imposing regulations. The central bank said they are worried that cryptocurrencies may be used in illegal activities such as money laundering or supporting terrorism.

In the circular, the central bank said all banks and financial institutions in the country are prohibited from investing or trading in cryptocurrency, offering cryptocurrency exchanges, creating platforms for cryptocurrency trading, and advising clients to invest or trade in cryptocurrencies. The central bank also ordered the banks to deny its customers the ability to use their credit cards to purchase cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin has experienced a troublesome history in Thailand and it is only in recent years that the authorities have been receptive to its use. In 2013, Thailand made one of the harshest reactions to bitcoin by declaring the use of the cryptocurrency as illegal. In 2014, after much debate and discussion, the central bank reversed its previous ban on the use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Despite this new relaxed approach, the central still advised against the use of cryptocurrencies and said that users are responsible for their own losses.