The Bank of Thailand is standing firm against the use of digital currency payments  in its latest press release.

Noticing a rise in businesses accepting crypto assets like Bitcoin and Ethereum in exchange for goods and services, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) has reiterated its position against using cryptocurrencies to facilitate payments.

Highlighting the fact that digital currency holdings are not recognised as legal tender in the country, the BOT also stressed on the price volatility and speculative nature of cryptocurrencies while reinforcing that both sender and recipient have to accept the inherent risks involved.

a picture of a bitcoin cryptocurrency

The crypto scene in Thailand has been a love-hate relationship between crypto enthusiasts and the central financial institutions. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been an growing interest in cryptocurrencies with at least 88% of Thais having heard of Bitcoin and 42% of those interested planning to invest within a year.

Thai crypto exchanges have also seen a 588% increase in crypto volume since November 2020, with the popular exchange Bitkub seeing a 40% surge between January and February this year. Digital assets like NFTs are also making their way into the mainstream such as the latest crypto craze on digital Buddhist amulets.

On the other side, the financial authorities  are pushing back against the surge with guidelines and bans to regulate the space – first with the banning of Terra’s THT and the introduction of the Stablecoins Regulation Policy, placing a blanket ban on digital assets like exchange tokens and NFTs, and the criminal filing against crypto exchange Binance.

With the continued boom in the Thai crypto scene and the development of a Thai Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) in the works, the country is definitely one of the Southeast Asian nations to keep an eye out for.

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