Cryptocurrencies as payment channels will not be tolerated, says Bank of Thailand (BoT) Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput. The Southeast Asian country is working on introducing laws to curb cryptocurrencies, with the central bank to release a paper in January 2022.
The Thai central bank had earlier warned that cryptocurrency is not legal tender in the country. “Using it as a medium of exchange constitutes barter trade between the owner of the digital asset and the provider of goods and services, where the player and the receiver mutually accept all risks involved.”
The Bank of Thailand aims to minimize risks to the financial system and protect its investors. The central bank also wants to test its own digital currency in the new year. It is likely to follow in China’s footsteps is pushing away cryptocurrency in favor of its own CBDC. The Thai central bank has also discouraged commercial banks from directly dealing with or trading cryptocurrencies, highlighting the high price volatility.
If the Thai government takes a harsh stance against cryptocurrency, the country’s tourism industry will suffer. Thailand’s tourism ministry is touting the kingdom as crypto-friendly through crypto tourism. This is part of its effort to revive Thailand’s tourism industry.
Yuthasak Supasorn, Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor, had said that crypto is the future. “So we must make Thailand a crypto-positive society to welcome this group of quality tourists. If people who have become wealthy from holding digital currencies” can use the coins without having to exchange it or be faced with government taxes, then it would create convenience for them.”
Reports had said that Thailand was looking at creating a unit to handle the issuance of its crypto tokens, produce a wallet and build a new tourism ecosystem.