Thailand Bans Usage Of Digital Currencies For Payments

After removing taxation on cryptocurrency due to the outcry of the crypto community, Thailand has taken another drastic step as part of its measures on crypto regulation. Thailand’s regulatory commission stated that from the 1st of April, digital currencies such as BTC and other cryptos would be prohibited as a form of payment.

Fraud And Financial Stability Cited As Reasons

While this is not an absolute prohibition on exchanging or keeping virtual currencies, which are rather prominent in the country, the new limitations on BTC and digital currencies harm one of its primary use cases for payment purposes.

Thailand’s SEC said on Wednesday that such restriction, which was implemented in collaboration with the central bank, was spurred by worries about financial stability and financial fraud. In the past months, financial crimes have become a major part of the crypto economy, with individuals laundering millions of dollars using crypto.

Thailand’s regulatory watchdog made it plain in a notice, which was interpreted from Thai to English using Google’s translator, that regulators “understand the merits of different technologies underlying virtual currencies – for example blockchain.”

The regulator has said it will promote and facilitate the adoption of crypto technology, keeping with Thailand’s broader policy on digital assets; Thailand was one of several countries to establish a central bank-backed electronic currency.

Price Of Cryptos Unaffected By The Ban 

Bitcoin prices remained unaffected. While cryptocurrency prices fell marginally yesterday, they generally mirrored the stock market price fluctuation. 

The potential of legislative restrictions on virtual currencies in India or Russia and China’s absolute prohibition have previously depressed prices. Each of the three nations has the potential to become an enormous cryptocurrency economy, with India and Russia accounting for the majority of global digital currency owners. Although the usage of cryptocurrencies is banned in China, the nation has released its electronic currency, which has gained massive use due to the just-concluded Olympics held in Beijing.

Thailand was rated 14th internationally in terms of crypto participants, according to a 2021 research by Singapore’s blockchain company, TripleA. In absolute terms, cryptocurrency is highly common in Thailand; Thailand comes 12th in terms of virtual holders as a percentage of the population, with 5.2%, above the United Kingdom, France, Brazil, and Germany, among other big economies. 

Although Thailand’s restriction on cryptocurrency operations is a blow to Bitcoin’s economics, the nation’s overall virtual currency footprint remains limited. The restriction on the use of BTC, ETH, and other virtual currencies as the payment method is doubtful to significantly impact the world crypto market worth over $1.9 trillion. Presently, the price of BTC is trading at $42,445, which is a 2.19% increase in the last 24 hours.

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