Photo of Prayut talking to Bitkub founder not financial advice, Thai government says

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Thailand’s government urged the public on Friday to not “misinterpret” a photo of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha with the founder of cryptocurrency exchange Bitkub as financial advice on digital assets. 

“The photo does not signify any investment guidance,” said government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana. “The PM always warns of risks to all investments.” 

Earlier this week, Jirayut “Topp” Srupsrisopa, the founder of Bitkub Capital Group Holdings, was awarded The Prime Minister’s Digital Awards for Digital Startup of the Year 2021. Chaiwut Thanakamanusorn, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, also appears in the shot.

According to his Facebook post, Jirayut said he was discussing the importance of blockchain technology for the Thai economy in the future. “New blockchain-based businesses will provide people with opportunities,” he added.

This is not the first time Thai authorities have put an alert against digital assets. In October last year, when Bitcoin price rallied to an all-time high of 2 million baht, the PM office warned Thais about the risks of trading cryptocurrency at such a high price. 

As of Friday’s afternoon, Bitcoin price stood at 1.04 million baht, down as much of 26 per cent from a month earlier.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has also banned the adoption of cryptocurrencies as a payment method due to the volatility.

Bitkub reported revenue of 5.5 billion baht in 2021, with a net profit of 2.7 billion baht. The crypto exchange’s performance improved exponentially from a year ago, driven by higher trading volume.

Photo credit: Topp Jirayut’s Facebook page.

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