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Digital assets for payments for goods banned from April

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a set of regulations to be applied to digital assets operators, which take effect on April 1st, barring them from using digital assets as a means of payment for goods or services.

The regulations are intended to control the use of digital assets as a means of payment, to prevent cybercrime, money laundering, data leaks and any threat to financial stability and the economic system.

The use of digital assets for investment is not affected by the new regulations.

According to the regulations, all digital assets operators are barred from providing services or acting in a way which is deemed as supporting or promoting the use of digital assets as a means of payment for goods or services, such as advertising, and from persuading people to use digital assets as a means of payment.

Businesses will have until the end of April to comply with the new rules.

The prohibition covers the opening of e-wallets or the provision of tools or systems to facilitate the use of digital assets as a means of payment for goods or services.

In case a customer of a digital asset operator is found to have used their digital assets as a means of payment, the operator must immediately warn that customer to stop the practice, as it is deemed to contravene the operator’s regulations.

The operator may suspend providing services to such a customer.

The regulations cover digital asset exchanges, cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, digital asset brokers and traders.

Before the issuance of the regulations, the SEC, the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Thailand engaged in extensive discussions about the pros and cons of digital assets, the use of which has been rapidly increasing in Thailand.

Public hearings were held through January and February with all stakeholders to gauge their views of the digital asset sector and its potential impact on financial stability and the economy.

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