• Thailand will accept cryptocurrency payments from Russian tourists as an emergency measure

  • According to reports, the Phuket Tourist Association (PTA) and the Bank of Thailand (BOT) are considering offering cryptocurrency payment alternatives to Russian tourists visiting Thailand. The move would serve as an escape route for Russian citizens, who have faced harsh restrictions from a number of countries, corporations, and industries in the aftermath of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

    Thailand Is Trying to Assist Russians

    Russia’s “special military operation” against Ukraine prompted numerous countries to declare economic war on the world’s largest country in order to cut it off from the global financial system. Certain Russian banks were barred from using the SWIFT payment system by the West. At the same time, prominent corporations like as Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal indicated that they will no longer serve Russian customers.

    In contrast to those fines, Thailand tries to provide Russian travelers with other bitcoin settlement possibilities. According to a local newspaper, PTA President Bhummikitti Ruktaengam stated that digital assets might be used as a backup in the event that transactions are canceled.

    He also mentioned that Thai enterprises would begin engaging with the Russian payment system Mir and utilizing the proceedings between them.

    According to Ruktaengam, there are approximately 3,500-4,000 Russian tourists and 300-400 Ukrainian tourists in Phuket. Another 3,000 visitors from both countries can be found in Krabi, Koh Samui, and Pattaya.

    Ordinary tourists are permitted to stay in Thailand for a maximum of 60 days. Despite numerous petitions, Thai authorities have stated that they will not extend visas to people who are unable to return home due to the military conflict.

    The administration, on the other hand, has stated that no tourists from either country will be deported against their choice.

    Russia has resorted to China’s UnionPay.

    As the number of financial payment providers announcing plans to exit the Russian market grows, the country has begun seeking for monetary alternatives in its southern neighbor China.

    The Bank of Russia announced a few days ago that local lenders will be permitted to use the UnionPay system. According to the central bank, the latter is based in Shanghai, China, and works in over 180 countries.

    The organisation also stated that numerous Russian banks currently use UnionPay, and that others (such as Sberbank and Tinkoff) may begin issuing cards that integrate Russia’s local Mir settlement system with the Chinese one.

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