Thailand was among the first countries to impose a complete ban on crypto use in the nation, however it is also among the very few who lifted the ban as soon as they were able to form satisfactory regulation reforms.
As per the new regulatory guidelines set up by The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC], any new exchange looking to start offering crypto services, they must first seek approval from the SEC and they are also present with a list of crypto tokens that have been approved by the committee which include Bitcoin , Ethereum, XRP, and Stellar Lumens.
Achari Suppiroj is the Director of the FinTech Department at the SEC. She made an interesting revelation during the Ripple’s Regionals Event held in Bangkok recently.
She said that the earlier decision of banning crypto by the Bank of Thailand was never intended to be a complete permanent ban, and it was only for the period till the policymakers can draft a working framework for crypto use. She explained,
“We were already working with the BoT and other relevant agencies to craft really comprehensive law to govern this space. But there were a lot of concerns about scams. People were using blockchain and other cool words to con people.”
Suppiroj further stated that within the three months of imposed ban the policymakers at the SEC came up with a framework and classified it as ‘virtual currencies as digital assets’.
However , Thammark Moenjak one of the officials at BoT accepted that they were uncertain how the regulations would turn out to be. He stated,
“Like most central banks, we kept quiet about digital assets other than warning consumers not to fall for scams. But we also want to encourage banks and tech firms to help alleviate pain points in the system. The issues around digital assets were becoming too important, so we sat down with the other agencies.”
Thailand Working Towards a Secure Crypto Future
Achari agreed that in the past there have been several cases of Ponzi schemes and fraudulent Initial Coin Offering (ICO) scamming the consumers every now and then.
However, with the new regulations put in place, the country is aiming to work towards finding an efficient balance between the policy makers and businesses planning to operate in the country.
“Previously, anyone could ask people to invest in exchange for project tokens. Now only companies under Thai law can issue ICOs and they are screened by ICO portals, which are like financial advisors that ensure there is a solid business plan and then recommends it for SEC approval.”