Thailand: Central Bank Asks All Banks To Avoid Crypto, Pending Regulations

 

Veerathai Santiprabhob, governor of the central Bank of Thailand, has asked all banks in Thailandto stay away from cryptocurrency, Reuters reported yesterday, Feb. 13.

According to Reuters, the central bank released a circular Monday that bans banks in Thailand from investing and trading in crypto, as well as participating in and creating exchanges and platforms for crypto trading.The circular applies specifically to banks, not to exchanges or other services, which are still allowed to operate freely in the country.

Banks were also asked not to advise customers on crypto investment or trading, and to ban clients from using credit cards for crypto purchases. Several large banks globally have already instituted a similar ban of credit card purchases of crypto last week, as the crypto markets took a dip to new multi-month record lows.

In explaining their reasoning for the ban on banks’ dealing with crypto, The Bank of Thailand cited concerns over digital currencies being used for illegal activities, such as money laundering or terrorist activities, and noted that cryptocurrencies are not legal tender in the country.

Regulate, not ban

Thai Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong had stated on Feb. 7 that the Thai government will not ban crypto trading, but will work on constructing a regulatory framework for digital currencies, the Bangkok Post reported. The Bank of Thailand’s circular can be seen as warning banks away from crypto until this regulatory framework can be implemented.

In September, 2017, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC Thailand) had also announced a willingness to support Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) by implementing regulations that would protect investors against fraud. Yesterday, Feb.12, SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul said the SEC does not have the ability to block crypto transactions as they are traded through online platforms, but will attempt to educate investors to protect them from ICO scams, the Bangkok Post reported.

Thailand’s Ministry of Finance had said Feb. 2 that the Bank of Thailand and the SEC Thailand should warn customers about investing in crypto markets, but that Blockchain technology could be useful for Thailand’s financial sector.

The central Bank of Thailand had previously held a meeting with Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin in August 2017 about the future possibility of integrating Ethereum into the Thai financial sector to improve the efficiency of already existing infrastructure.

 

Major Crypto Exchange Kraken CEO Tells Traders To Do Own Research, Not Rely On Exchanges

 

 

Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, told CNBC today, Feb. 13, that crypto traders must be responsible for the risks they take in investing in digital coins.

During an interview at the World Government Summit in Dubai, Powell said that he sees consumers, not exchanges, as playing the primary role in risk evaluation:

“I think ultimately consumers need to look out for themselves, look into the fundamentals of any coin and not rely on any particular exchange to protect them from market volatility.”

While Powell said that Kraken does its best to ensure that every coin they list is legitimate, they can’t make any “promises about the future of any coin, things can change when you raise $1 billion in 10 minutes.”

Kraken is currently ranked in 8th place by trading volume on CoinMarketCap, trading a total of about $300 million over a 24-hour period to press time.

Traditional investors have often pointed out that digital currency lacks intrinsic value or that its current trajectory resembles an economic bubble. When asked during the summit about the negative views of crypto held by world-famous traditional investors like Warren Buffett, CEO of Blockchain Technologies Corporation Nick Spanos told CNBC that “Warren Buffett is good at renting furniture and whatever other businesses that he does, but we are in a different business.”

Powell’s advice for investors to thoroughly understand their investments echoes similar, but more scare-mongering, advice from global regulators. EU regulators warned consumers againyesterday, Feb. 12, about the high risk of investing in crypto and noted that they are concerned that consumers do not fully understand what they are investing in when they invest in crypto.

 

 

 

 

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