Thailand’s central bank on Tuesday said it does not want commercial banks to be directly involved in trading cryptocurrencies, citing the risks stemming from high price volatility, as per the Reuters report. The remarks by Bank of Thailand (BOT) senior director Chayawadee Chai-Anant come as Thai lenders have been investing in local cryptocurrency exchanges. Earlier this year, Siam Commercial Bank Pcl (SCB) (SCB.BK) announced a $537 million acquisition of Bitkub.
Bank of Thailand does not want commercial banks to be directly involved in cryptocurrencies.
“We don’t want banks to be directly involved in digital asset trading because banks are (responsible) for customer deposits and the public, and there is a risk,” Chayawadee told a news conference. Some cryptocurrencies are known to be highly volatile. “If a company is a shareholder, that is another issue,” Chayawadee noted. Trading and use of cryptocurrencies have gained momentum in Thailand in the last year, with retailers and real estate developers accepting digital assets as payments.
Thailand has eight licensed cryptocurrency exchanges.
Thailand has eight licensed cryptocurrency exchanges. Data from the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that they saw about 205 billion baht ($6.09 billion) in digital asset transactions in November. SCB Securities, a unit of SCB, also holds a license but is not currently operating an exchange. Earlier, the central bank also warned companies over accepting cryptocurrencies as payment. “If other currencies are widely used, it will impact the central bank’s ability to oversee the economy,” said BOT senior director Sakkapop Panyanukul. “For digital assets, we are not afraid of everything, but there is a spectrum – most worrying are blank coins,” he said, referring to cryptocurrencies that are not backed by assets. The central bank said it was working with other agencies on ways to regulate digital assets.