El Salvador was the first to make the move and other countries like Paraguay and now Malaysia are considering jumping on board and making Bitcoin legal currency. However, Thailand won't be one of them, with the country's securities regulator banning Bitcoin payments starting April 1.
In an announcement a few days ago, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission said it has banned encrypted payments as it believes they can affect the country's financial stability, posing a great risk to the country's economy.
Like many other regulators, the SEC has discredited the use of cryptocurrencies as money, saying they lack the qualities of healthy money. Its volatility makes it unsuitable for payments, while its high risk of cyber theft makes it unsafe for use by the masses, he added.
Crypto used for money laundering?
Additionally, cryptocurrencies can be used for money laundering, the SEC said.
While the concerns are valid, they are overcome. Cryptocurrencies have proven to be among the least effective ways to launder money due to the public, open and immutable nature of the blockchain. Criminals who relied on cryptography to conduct the crime were easily tracked down, from the New York couple who stole $ 4,5 billion from Bitfinex years ago to the hackers who wreaked havoc in the United States by demanding ransom payments.
The SEC isn't banning cryptocurrencies in Thailand, however. Thai investors took crypto in the millions. The Chainalysis Global Crypto Adoption Index placed Thailand in 12th place globally for adoption and 7th for on-chain value received, ahead of countries such as Brazil, China and the Philippines.
And while Thailand bans crypto payments, another Asian nation is considering making BTC fiat money. As reported by CNF, Malaysia's Ministry of Communications has proposed to follow in El Salvador's footsteps and make cryptocurrencies fiat currency. However, the country's central bank has long been anti-Bitcoin.
An avant-garde president
For El Salvador, the move to make Bitcoin fiat currency hasn't been as smooth as President Nayib Bukele had predicted. In the latest setback, the country's finance minister Alejandro Zelaya announced the postponement of a $ 1 billion Bitcoin fund that was scheduled to be offered between March 15-20.
The minister blamed the postponement on difficult market conditions caused by the war in Ukraine. “I think this is not the time. There are more important things to do for the planet ”.