Thailand Central Bank Bars Lenders from Involving in Crypto

The bank fears money laundering and terrorist activities, while finance ministry prepares crypto regulations

by Viko
13 February • 1.5 min
In Regulation

Thailand’s central bank has banned local lenders from getting involved in transactions related to digital currencies due to concerns that the unregulated virtual coins could be used to back illegal activities, Reuters reported on Monday.

The news agency quoted a circular issued by the monetary authority that says banks should not invest or trade in cryptocurrency, offer crypto exchange services or create crypto trading platforms, allow clients to buy coins using credit cards, and provide crypto-related investment services.

The measures apply only to banks and not to crypto exchanges or other services that are allowed to operate in the country.

Last week, Thailand’s Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said the government had no plans to ban cryptocurrency trading but is working on a regulatory framework for digital coins, as quoted by Bangkok Post. More information on the topic is expected at the beginning of March.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said already in September 2017 it could implement ICO (Initial Coin Offering) regulations to protect investors from scams and educate them. 

In addition, the country’s finance ministry admitted earlier this month that the Blockchain technology could be useful for the country.