Thailand will officially regulate the use of cryptocurrencies in payments

In a joint press release, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) declared that the use of cryptocurrencies in payments poses a threat to the country's financial sector. Agencies have recognized the widespread use of digital currencies as a payment method, but regulators need to focus on consumer protection. Additionally, regulators said they looked at the benefits and shortcomings of digital currencies in payments and the risks of price volatility, cybercrime, data privacy, and money laundering. "Recognizing these risks and implications, regulators will consider the exercise of power in accordance with the relevant legal frameworks to limit the widespread adoption of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services," the statement read. The regulations should focus on selected cryptocurrencies, also taking into account the importance of financial innovation. According to Thai SEC Secretary General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, in addition to regulating the space, the agency has an obligation to promote the development of digital asset businesses along with consumer protection. Regulators, however, have not disclosed when the regulations are expected to be disclosed. With Thailand emerging as a critical cryptocurrency market, the country has recently focused increasingly on enacting legislation for the sector. Recently, the country's finance ministry planned to implement a 15% capital gains tax on profits from cryptocurrency trading. Likewise, in December, BOT warned banks against direct involvements with cryptocurrency trading platforms. The bank cited risks such as market volatility. The growth of cryptocurrencies in the country is highlighted by a November 2021 SEC report which showed that digital currency transactions amounted to $ 6 million. In particular, the month recorded the latest all-time high for bitcoin of nearly $ 68,000.