The Bank of Thailand, which governs financial transactions in the country, has banned the use of the popular internet-based currency Bitcoin and said the nation doesn't have adequate laws and capital controls over the virtual money.
Bitcoin Co. Ltd. said that the ban includes buying or selling bitcoins, buying or selling goods in exchange for bitcoins, and sending or receiving bitcoins to people in other countries. Bitcoin said it's suspended operations in Thailand pending a change in the law or regulatory climate.
The company has been in the process of registering with relevant Thai government agencies in order to operate legally for the past several months, and made a presentation about the workings and benefits of bitcoins, as well as insights into the company’s operations and future implications.
Bitcoin has been seen by some US citizens as an alternative to conventional money, to escape currency manipulations by its government. It's a time when the traditional greenback, as well as other world currencies, have been under increased pressure due to the economic crisis, according to the RT News.
The decision against Bitcoin marks a major stumbling block for the company on its path towards wider acceptance since its introduction in 2009.
The virtual currency has received ample media coverage this year, when the math-based money’s value soared to a peak of $266 in mid-April, before a price bubble burst. The U.S. Federal Reserve is also investigating possible risks associated with bitcoins, as some feared the currency, which is untraceable, could be used for money laundering schemes and may be vulnerable to hackers.
Sophie is a graduate of Northwestern University. She covers the emerging markets in Southeast Asia, with a particular interest in foreign investment in the region....