Thailand’s financial authorities will scrutinize the use of cryptocurrency and other digital assets when they’re used to pay for goods and services, the Bank of Thailand, Ministry of Finance and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand said in a press release Tuesday (Jan. 25), CoinDesk reported.
Regulators could limit the use of cryptos for payments, the report said, and they plan to craft guidelines for some digital assets that support the country’s financial system and innovation without triggering risk across the entire system.
Thai authorities are concerned that as cryptocurrency expands from an investment tool into a means of payment for residents across the country and the world, it could cause issues regarding financial stability, consumer privacy and cybercrime, according to the statement.
The Thai SEC is also seeking comment on a consultation paper on digital assets until Feb. 8. The paper proposes a ban on merchants advertising and facilitating digital assets as means of payment, and also bans exchanges and brokerages from providing systems that help merchants receive crypto payments, including QR codes and eWallets.
Following the consultation paper, there could also be limits on transferring assets between accounts. For example, Thai baht made from selling cryptocurrency assets can only be transferred to the seller’s account, according to the CoinDesk report.
In December, Thailand announced it is moving toward testing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and does not want any private competition in the payments sector.
At the time, Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput said that Thailand is in a group of Asian countries that have either formally banned cryptocurrency or are seriously considering it as they work on a CBDC.
In July, Thailand’s central bank issued a “caution,” saying it “does not support the usage of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services,” with risks including cybertheft, price volatility and money laundering.