The Bank of Thailand (BoT) has just enabled local banks to establish subsidiaries to deal with cryptocurrencies, according to the local news agency, the Blognone. According to a regulatory notice issued by the Bank of Thailand on August 1st, Thai banks can migrate to digital assets, offer crypto-related brokerage solutions, operate cryptocurrencies businesses and conduct investments in cryptos via subsidiaries.
Nevertheless, the latest news has confirmed that all banks and other financial institutions are still prohibited from trading directly in cryptocurrencies.
While banks are currently authorized to set up subsidiaries to operate with cryptocurrencies, such branches are not eligible for the provision of cryptocurrency-related products to their clients and the general public, and can interoperate only with other firms that are accredited by the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Office of the Insurance Commission (OIC).
Crypto-related subsidiaries should not counsel clients to invest in cryptocurrencies or buy cryptos with credit cards, the Bank of Thailand stated
Branches are authorized to make investment funds accessible to clients, except if they are willing to invest in digital assets that are intended to encourage “financial innovation” or expand the value of financial services, in which case they may use the Bank of Thailand (BoT) regulatory sandbox.
Earlier in 2018, the Bank of Thailand published a directive banning Thai banking entities from trading and investing in cryptocurrencies and engaging in the setting up of cryptocurrency exchanges, which are allegedly legitimate to do business across Thailand.
Also, the Bank of Thailand demanded banks not to counsel individuals about investment or trading in cryptocurrencies, and ban clients from purchasing cryptos with credit cards.
At the beginning of June, the Bank of Thailand unveiled that it is looking to deliver a “new way of carrying out an interbank settlement” through the use of a digital asset issued by the central bank, the CBDC. The adoption of its own cryptocurrency should lower transaction fees, as well as transaction and validation times “due to the reduced intermediation process required compared to current systems,” as the bank reported.