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Bank of Thailand noted risks of banks trading digital assets

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The Bank of Thailand (BOT) does not welcome local financial institutions to carry out trading operations with cryptocurrencies due to their inherent volatility. Chayawadee Chai-Anant, senior director of the Central Bank made similar statements, writes the Bangkok Post.

“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,” the official explained.

In addition to high volatility, Chai-Anant identified cyber threats, personal data leaks, and money laundering as risks.

Supervision of the economy

Before Chai-Anant, senior director of BoT, Sakkapop Panyanukul, spoke on a similar topic. He called cryptocurrencies “blank coins” and warned against their use as a means of payment.

“If other currencies are widely used, it will impact the central bank’s ability to oversee the economy,” he said.

In November, Thailand’s oldest and third-largest bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), invested about 17.85 billion Thai baht (~$536 million) in the Bitkub cryptocurrency exchange by purchasing 51% of shares. If regulators approve, the transaction will complete in the first quarter of 2022.

Idea of attracting rich Bitcoin holders

SCB competitor, Zipmex, raised $41 million (1.33 billion baht) in August. The investors were the country’s fifth-largest bank by assets, Thailand-based Ayudhya Bank (BAY), media companies, and venture funds. Moreover, according to the results of a financing round, the total amount of funding received by Zipmex reached $52 million.

Recall that the Thai authorities will consider launching the TAT Coin utility token for the development of “cryptourism”. Long-term plans for TAT include partnering with the local Bitkub exchange to build a tourism platform. Which incorporates TAT Coin and most probably non-fungible tokens (NFT).

According to the CEO and founder Bitkub, Jirayut Srupsrisopa, crypto investors can work remotely and earn income using blockchain technology. Thailand for such “nano-entrepreneurs” can become a livable location with “vivid travel impressions”. Earlier, the department announced the idea of attracting rich Bitcoin (BTC) holders to the country as tourists with high incomes.

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