Thai regulators team up to issue guidelines on digital asset payments




The Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Thai Ministry of Finance (MOF) have come together to review and issue guidelines on the use of digital assets as a payment tool.

In a joint press release on Tuesday, Thailand’s top regulatory bodies said that it has become necessary to review and regulate digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services. After careful consideration and assessing all the pros and cons, the joint committee said that the use of digital assets as a widespread payment tool could pose a risk to the financial-economic stability.

Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, governor of the BOT, said:

“At present, the widespread adoption of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services poses risk to the country’s economic and financial system.”

The joint regulatory committee highlighted three risks associated with the use of digital assets as a means of payment:

  1. Volatility risk: Digital asset volatility could affect merchants and users alike. The conversion fee could add an extra burden.
  2. IT risk: Consumers may face cybertheft, personal data leaks or opportunity costs in instances of system failure.
  3. Compliance and legal risk: Digital assets could pose a legal risk due to the anonymity factor.

The joint committee believes the current payment infrastructure in the country is efficient enough and that digital assets add no feasible benefits for consumers or businesses.

Thailand’s SEC conducted a public review after its discussion with the BOT and MOF. The top regulatory body has sought the public’s opinion on the matter in order to derive a conclusive framework for the use of crypto as a payment instrument.

Related: Thailand to define ‘red lines‘ for crypto in early 2022

The joint committee also said that further guidelines will be issued for specific digital assets that don’t pose any systematic risk, which could be an indication of the use of stablecoin or central bank digital currency (CBDC). The official statement noted that the final decision on the guidelines will be made only after taking feedback from stakeholders and the general public.

At a time when the top regulatory bodies in Thailand are working on crypto payment regulations, the country’s government executives are divided on the crypto taxation proposal. Many current and former government executives have come forward to warn against the implementation of strict taxation policies, as they could deter foreign investors and pose a risk to the growth of the nascent industry.