Authorities draft criteria to ban payment using digital assets
Financial authorities plan to prohibit the use of digital assets to pay for goods and services by drafting six criteria to control the use of such assets and minimise the economic impact.
In a joint statement issued on Tuesday, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Finance Ministry (MOF) said they had jointly reviewed the benefits and risks of digital assets and deemed it necessary to regulate their use as a means of payment for goods and services to avert potential impacts on financial stability and the economic system.
“Digital asset business operators have expanded to cover services related to the use of digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services. Some have solicited businesses by offering to facilitate merchants and businesses in accepting digital assets, such as by setting up digital asset settlement systems,” the statement said.
“This may result in wider adoption of digital assets as a means of payment, aside from its use as investment, which could potentially impact financial stability and the overall economic system.
“The use of digital assets in this manner could also pose further risks to consumers and businesses through price volatility, cybertheft, personal data leaks, money laundering, etc,” the statement pointed out.
The regulators have therefore drafted six criteria for operators of the digital asset business to prevent the use of such assets to pay for goods and services:
- Digital asset business operators must not advertise or persuade shop owners that they can accept payment with digital assets.
- Operators must not provide a system or tool that facilitates shop owners to accept payment with digital assets.
- Operators must not provide an electronic wallet service to shop owners.
- Selling of digital assets in baht must be directly transferred to the operator’s own account.
- The transfer of digital assets or money from a seller’s account to another account for the purpose of goods or service payments is prohibited.
- Operators must not engage in any activity that promotes or supports the use of digital assets for goods or service payments.
SEC secretary-general Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol said that after discussions with BOT and the MOF, the commission is conducting a public hearing regarding the guidelines for using digital assets as a means of payment for goods and services to determine the appropriate frameworks in due course.