Thailand bans cryptocurrency payments for goods and services

Ruling does not ban investment in crypto

A mourner holds a special commemorative 100 baht banknote in honor of the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej before inserting into a plastic case in Bangkok Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016. The note was released five years ago by the Bank of Thailand, but interest in it was renewed after the king's death on Oct. 13. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit) (Sakchai Lalit, Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

BANGKOK – Thailand’s securities regulator announced Wednesday that it is barring the use of cryptocurrencies for payment of goods and services.

The ruling effective April 1 does not ban investment in cryptocurrencies, which has become increasingly popular in the past year after being promoted by local exchanges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said it was taking action in order to protect the stability of the country’s financial and monetary systems from threats including money laundering and other cybercrimes.

The regulation also specifically bans the promotion of cryptocurrencies for payment along with the distribution of software and devices for that purpose.

It says as well that operators of digital asset businesses must warn their customers of the ban and can suspend their accounts if they violate the regulation.

Businesses have until the end of April to comply with the ban.