As other nations like El Salvador and Honduras are moving to legalize Bitcoin, Thailand chooses to stand at the end of the spectrum. The Southeast Asian country has announced a ban on crypto as a transaction medium starting April 1st.
Thailand Worries Crypto Payments will destabilize its Economy
Thailand says it is concerned that crypto payments threaten its financial system and economy. According to the country, the volatility of cryptocurrencies makes digital assets unfeasible for use as legal tender.
The country’s Security and Exchange Commission also said that money laundering and the inability of the central bank to control digital assets as the reason behind the crypto ban legislation. Earlier, Thailand’s SEC revealed that it was looking into regulating the use of tokens in purchasing goods and services. The ban seems to be the outcome of the inquiry.
Thailand’s ban on crypto as a transaction medium includes any promotion of cryptocurrencies as a payment method for goods and services. It also clarified that it was not banning crypto trading but only crypto payments. Bloomberg reports that Thai citizens hold more than $3 billion worth of cryptocurrencies as of 2022.
Although the crypto ban legislation begins at the start of April, Thailand has given businesses 30 days to comply. The Bank of Thailand announced that it would hold a briefing on regulatory guidelines for banks’ digital asset business later on Wednesday.
Thailand Still Remains Supportive of Crypto Trading
Thailand’s ban on crypto as a transaction medium does not make the country anti-crypto. The country has several pro-crypto laws. For instance, the Thai government recently did away with a planned 15% tax on crypto investments.
Thailand has also exempted 7% value-added tax from transactions on certain crypto exchanges until 2023. Additionally, the country has also allowed traders to offset annual losses against gains for taxes due on cryptocurrency investments.
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