Central bank tells Thai banks not to offer crypto trading

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The Bank of Thailand has stated that it does not want commercial banks to be directly involved in the trading of cryptocurrencies.

The edict came from senior central bank chief Chayawadee Chai-Anant on Dec. 7, who cited risks associated with high price volatility.

“We don’t want banks to be directly involved in trading digital assets because banks are (responsible) for customer deposits and the public and there is a risk.”

The latest round of central bank suppression of digital assets comes at a time when commercial banks have made investments in local cryptocurrency exchanges, according to Bangkok Post. report.

In early November, Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) announced it was acquiring 51% of the country’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Bitkub. In late August, Zipmex’s crypto exchange raised $ 1.3 billion in financing from the country’s fifth largest lender, Ayudhya Bank.

The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has taken an increasingly stern stance against digital assets despite their growing popularity in the country among individuals, companies and banks.

Last week, BoT senior director Sakkapop Panyanukul warned companies of accepting cryptocurrencies, stating: “If other currencies are widely used, it will affect the central bank’s ability to control the economy.” In the case of tokens not backed by assets, he labeled them “empty coins”.

The central bank has also expressed concern about the use of cryptocurrencies to pay for goods and services. In relation report on Dec. 8, Chai-Anant commented that digital assets could be harmful to traders and consumers because they are “associated with high price volatility and risks of cyber theft, personal data leakage and money laundering.”

“If digital assets are widely used as a means of payment for goods and services, such risks could affect payment system stability, financial stability and consumer protection.”

Related: Thai lawmakers have urged the approval of a tourism cryptocurrency to attract digital denominations

The BoT warnings come just 15 days after the Kingdom’s tourism ministry stepped up its efforts to encourage the crippled to visit the country. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has declared the country “crypto-friendly” but clearly, the central bankers do not want it to be too friendly.

Thailand’s economy is heavily dependent on the tourism industry, which was hit by the pandemic. Much of the Kingdom remains locked up with very few arrivals at the time of writing despite efforts to lure cryptic denominations and the like to a country where the central bank does not want them to use digital currencies.

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