Thailand Bans Crypto Payments, Giving Businesses Until the End of April to Comply with New Law

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Businesses that offer crypto payment options and services have been given 30 days, beginning April 1, 2022, to comply with the rules.
Thailand’s cryptocurrency businesses and services may face difficult times ahead, as the country has stated its intention to restrict the sector’s operability. On April 1, Thailand will prohibit the use of cryptocurrencies as a payment method for commodities and services. All such crypto payment service providers and facilitators have been ordered to be suspended by related business operators. Trading and investing in these digital assets, on the other hand, will be unaffected.

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Starting April 1, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand will ensure that crypto companies in the country follow the new instructions within 30 days.

Thailand is opposed to the promotion of cryptocurrencies as a payment option. The country is concerned that allowing crypto assets to be used for daily purchases will jeopardize the country’s economic stability and fiat position.
“The Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) saw the need to regulate and control the use of digital assets as a medium of payment because it may affect the stability of the financial system and the overall economy,” said the SEC, which also serves as Thailand’s crypto regulator.

Thai authorities are concerned that allowing cryptocurrency payments will expose people to financial risks such as price volatility, cyber theft, and personal data leaks. Furthermore, Thailand is attempting to reduce the use of cryptocurrencies to fund illegal activities.

While the new rule is set to take effect at the beginning of next month, businesses will have until the end of April to restructure their business models to meet the new legal requirement.

“For digital asset business operators who have already provided [crypto payment] services, the rules must be followed within 30 days of April 1, 2022,” the SEC added.

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The news comes just days after it was revealed that some Thai financial institutions were considering accepting cryptocurrency payments from tourists. As a result of its involvement in the Ukraine conflict, Russia has been barred from participating in several financial ecosystems. Crypto firms have also had to limit the use of their crypto holdings by sanctioned Russian individuals and firms.

According to reports, the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) were thinking about accepting cryptocurrency payments from Russia.

The move may have aided Russian cryptocurrency holders, particularly sanctioned entities, in liquidating their crypto assets in Thailand.

Meanwhile, Thailand’s complicated relationship with the crypto sector continues to have ups and downs. According to a study conducted by the crypto research firm TripleA, over 3.6 million Thai citizens, or 5.2 percent of the total population, currently own cryptocurrency.

The Thai Stock Exchange is awaiting approval from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission to allow its users to invest in cryptocurrencies through its platform very soon.

Following a strong backlash from its crypto community in February, Thailand repealed its 15% tax on financial profits generated by trading and mining digital assets.

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