Thailand SEC clarifies the request for strict criteria for crypto investors

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The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has rolled back a regulatory plan that lays out some conditions for investors to engage in the crypto economy. As previously envisaged, Thailand’s SEC proposal allowed crypto investors to have a minimum annual income of 1 million dollars (about $33,000), among other criteria. This idea was only suggested to “test” people’s emotions, as the SEC of Thailand put it.

Local sources, however, state that the proposal triggered “a massive wave of public criticism” within hours of its publication. This may be one explanation why regulators even rescheduled a live talk about how to deal with the matter by 3 March. This hearing will take place three weeks before the initial date of 24 March.

Many crypto traders and investors based in Thailand thought that the specifications suggested in the proposal represented a discriminatory step against lower and middle-income classes in the region. The public outrage caused Thailand’s Secretary-General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol to discuss the decision to table the plan. Noting that the move was mistaken, she said:

“I proposed the criteria [in the draft]  that many considered too tough to prompt people to express their opinions on the matter and did not intend to say these are the exact qualifications that will be implemented.”

It must be noted that earlier, the SEC secretary-general said that cryptocurrencies pose “high risks for investors.” She wanted to set “screening criteria” such as age, trading experience, and level of revenue or wealth to limit risks. She compared the proposed limits for crypto users to those that already exist for “high-yield bonds,” which are available to certain investors.

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It would be fascinating to look at the potential regulatory plans that the Thai authorities have in mind. Especially now that Suwanmongkol believes that if SEC “does nothing,” it will be “absolute” the regulators’ fault “if investors lose cryptocurrencies.”

Meanwhile, the value of crypto trade in Thailand grew to $2.17 billion in January 2021, from around $630 million in December last year.


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