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Bank of Thailand noted risks of banks trading digital assets


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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