On one hand, as Thailand prepares for the launch of its central bank digital currency (CBDC), it is simultaneously working to tighten crypto rules. The government of Thailand is looking to tighten the regulatory oversight on crypto platforms.
As a result, it is also planning to give more powers to the Thai central bank in an attempt to overhaul the crypto rules. Currently, only the Thailand SEC has had the sole mandate to supervise the industry since 2018. Of course, the SEC will be taking the lead further to overhaul the crypto rules.
However, new amendments to crypto regulations will “bring the central bank to be part of it,” said Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith. Explaining further, Arkhom added:
“Right now, the central bank has no room to enter into the regulatory framework except for notifying that cryptos are not a legal means of payment for goods and services. So the framework is not clear enough to regulate the industry.”
The recent move comes after the country’s licensed crypto exchange Zipmex suspended withdrawals for a brief period of time. However, Zipmex has started to release the freeze on transactions. It is also seeking a temporary moratorium to raise more funds and avoid any lawsuits.
Growing Regulatory Action In Thailand
This year has been pretty tough for the broader regulatory market and also for Thailand. Since December 2021, the number of active trading accounts has dropped to one-third.
Also, the Thai SEC has tightened its grip on the crypto space. In June 2022, the SEC fined the country’s largest crypto exchange Bitkub Online Co. for creating “artificial trading volume” on the platform. However, Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith has assured that tighter crypto rules will not be aimed at stifling innovation. Instead, it seeks to provide greater investor protection. Arkhom added:
“For the stock exchange, you have the paper to prove you are the owners. In the digital world, you have nothing except for the consent that you put at the bottom, which people never read. We are trying to protect investors as well as keeping the players in the industry in the fair terms.”
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