Thailand cracks down on cryptocurrencies with blanket ban of their use in banking

Thailand cracks down on cryptocurrencies with blanket ban of their use in banking
The central bank of Thailand has ordered the country's banks and other financial organizations to stop all operations with digital currencies for fear of possible problems with unregulated trading.

Banks have now been prohibited from investing in cryptocurrencies, selling them, making exchange transactions, and creating platforms for trade, the regulator said.

Thai banks are also prohibited from giving loans for the purpose of buying digital money, or recommending that clients use cryptocurrency as an investment tool.

The central bank said virtual currencies is not legal tender in Thailand, adding that they can be used in money laundering or in the financing of terrorism. However, Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong said that regulators cannot stop the use of cryptocurrencies within the country.

“The government will not ban cryptocurrency trading. A regulatory framework to govern digital currencies will become clearer within a month,” he said, as quoted by the Bangkok Post.

“After a recent discussion, related agencies agreed that regulators cannot stop the use of virtual currencies but will have to regulate and control them in an appropriate manner,” he added.

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were trading flat on Tuesday after seeing gains during the previous session. By 9:00 GMT, bitcoin was trading at around $8,700, ethereum was at $851, and ripple was trading at $1.07.

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