Thailand to empower central bank on crypto

Thailand wants its central bank to have more powers over the nascent digital currencies sector.

It believes it will need closer supervision and a clear-cut framework to make sure that investors are benefiting from the technology’s full reach and potential.

These changes will be introduced through planned amendments, confirmed Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith in a recent interview.

Under these new rules, the Securities & Exchange Commission will have to work on an overhauled regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies with the central bank also stepping in to regulate the sector more tightly.

Thailand has received some criticism over the last days and weeks. The country has been blamed for not acting on time to prevent the Zipmex debacle, which led to the suspension of withdrawals from the platform. A similar fate has been suffered by several Singapore-based and linked companies.

Termpittayapaisith explained that the central bank was still on the sidelines insofar as crypto regulation went and that a new framework would be necessary to make the institution more involved.

Thailand is also navigating crypto laws with the clear understanding that more than $2tr worth of value has been wiped off global markets since November 2021.

This has had its bearing on the Thai cryptocurrency landscape as well. Out of 700,000 active cryptocurrency accounts in Thailand in December 2021, only about 230,000 are trading and active today.

There has been a noticeable slowdown with people’s expectations from the cryptocurrency sector temporarily chilled.

This sobering picture is not too bad as the government now has the time and means to offer a better regulatory framework on which investors, businesses and the government can all fall back on. The country previously suspended crypto as a method of payment.

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Updated: 08/09/2022 — 16:00