Thai regulators tighten crypto rules to uphold trading confidence

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Thailand was the first country in the region to implement digital-asset legislation in 2018, which helped attract more people to put their money into cryptocurrencies while SEC licensed six platforms as exchanges, including Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co and Zipmex Thailand.

Authorities have moved to tighten rules in the wake of trading irregularities and the collapse of a major acquisition involving a crypto exchange.

Thailand was the first country in the region to implement digital-asset legislation in 2018, which helped attract more people to put their money into cryptocurrencies. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) licensed six platforms as exchanges, including Bitkub Capital Group Holdings Co and Zipmex Thailand.



The SEC’s 8.5 million baht (over US$233,000) fine against a Bitkub executive last month for insider trading, as well as a police complaint earlier this month against Zipmex and its chief executive officer, sent shockwaves through a market already disrupted by the global crypto rout. The SEC also plans to set up a working group to enhance the supervision of digital assets in order to enhance investor protection.

According to experts, the stricter oversight has compounded the blows from beyond the kingdom, including plunges in Bitcoin, Ether and other tokens, as well as meltdowns of crypto lender Celsius Network Ltd, broker Voyager Digital Ltd and hedge fund Three Arrows Capital.



The number of active trading accounts in Thailand fell to 246,000 in August, or about a third the tally in January.
According to SEC data, trading of cryptocurrencies on Thailand’s licensed exchanges slumped to 64 billion baht in August, the least since December 2020.

Some Thai companies have also been scarred by their foray into crypto. Shares of Jasmine Technology Solution Pcl have plunged more than 80% from their peak in April on its increased investment in Bitcoin mining. Its stock is now one of the worst-performing among global telecommunications equipment companies this year after being a world leader in 2021.



Nevertheless some are still betting on growth in the crypto market. Gulf Energy Development Pcl, Thailand’s biggest private power producer, has doubled down on its plans for expanding into digital-asset businesses to diversify earnings.












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