Bank of Thailand Bars Financial Institutions From Range Of Cryptocurrency Activities

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February 12, 2018 7:37 PM

Thailand’s central bank has instructed financial institutions in the country not to engage in a variety of practices relating to cryptocurrency, including investing in them and facilitating their trade.

A February 12 circular issued by the Bank of Thailand, the country’s central bank, has laid out a series of prohibitions on financial institutions’ activities relating to cryptocurrency.

In the document, the bank’s governor, Veerathai Santiprabhob, wrote that financial institutions would not be allowed to invest or trade in virtual currency, nor to operate exchanges or other kinds of trading platforms, according to reports.

The bank also warned these entities against offering cryptocurrency-related investment or trading advice to clients, and banned them from allowing customers to purchase digital assets with credit cards.

The circular also cautioned that cryptocurrency investment is extremely risky and that no laws regulating digital tokens have yet been passed in Thailand. As such, they are not considered legal tender in the country.

The document also notes the central bank’s concern that these digital assets could be used for illegal purposes, including money laundering and the support of terrorism.

Bank of Thailand officials have previously met with representatives of the Ethereum-based FinTech startup OmiseGo, which has operations in Thailand.

In September 2017, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission stated that in its view, the tokens issued in some ICOs may possess features of securities, as they are defined under the country’s Securities and Exchange Act.

Adam Reese is a Los Angeles-based writer interested in technology, domestic and international politics, social issues, infrastructure and the arts. Adam is a full-time staff writer for ETHNews and holds value in Ether and BTC.

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