Bank of Thailand Lifts Cryptocurrency Ban, Allows Bankers to Invest through Subsidiaries
The Bank of Thailand (BOT) has announced that bankers are allowed to invest and deal in cryptocurrencies through subsidiaries.
In May this year, the Central bank of Thailand banned local banks and financial institution from investing and offering cryptocurrency services. At the time, the central bank said it was concerned over the unregulated nature of digital currencies and the prospect of them being used for illegal activities.
In a statement released on Friday, June 3, the Central Bank says financial institutions can invest in digital currencies under the supervision of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The decision follows a royal mandate to regulate the cryptocurrency industry, according to the announcement.
Thailand released a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies last month which forms part of the SEC’s wider plan to legalize domestic cryptocurrencies and ICOs, beginning with the issuance of two royal decrees in March this year.
According to a report by local news source Blogone, the SEC still prohibits financial institutions from engaging in financial transactions involving cryptocurrency, in other words, they aren’t allowed to trade with their digital assets unless the institution intends on developing financial innovations to enhance the quality of financial service services to customers.
However, the new decree allows banks to get involved in digital assets by granting them permission to provide a cryptocurrency offering system and invest in crypto themselves. Thai financial institutions are also allowed to educate customers and recommend potential cryptocurrency investment resources.