Thailand Could Empower Central Bank to Help Regulate Crypto

bank of thailand, crypto, regulations, central bank, oversight

Authorities in Thailand are reportedly planning to amend regulations and authorize the country’s central bank to tighten oversight of cryptocurrency and digital assets.

“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,” Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith said, per a Bloomberg report Monday (Aug. 8). “So the framework is not clear enough to regulate the industry.”

The Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission is the only regulator supervising the crypto industry under the rules passed by the country in 2018. The agency is now being tasked with leading the overhaul in the legislation, Termpittayapaisith said.

New rules were deemed necessary following the debacle surrounding Thailand-based licensed cryptocurrency exchange Zipmex, Bloomberg reported. The exchange suspended withdrawals earlier last month, and Thai authorities were criticized for their lack of action in protecting investors.

See also: Thai Crypto Exchange Zipmex Seeks Bankruptcy Protection

Zipmex filed for bankruptcy protection at the end of July, PYMNTS reported last month. Zipmex said the liquidation of the company isn’t certain and it plans to continue operating its trade wallet, non-fungible token (NFT) platform and other offerings.

Termpittayapaisith added that stronger crypto regulations are not intended to target innovation and technology, but to provide investors with greater protection.

“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,” he said. “We are trying to protect investors as well as keeping the players in the industry in the fair terms.”

Read more: Bank of Thailand Unveils Banking Initiatives to Support Digital Economy

Bitkub Online, Thailand’s largest crypto exchange, was fined by its SEC in June for generating  “artificial trading volume.” The company’s CEO was also fined along with five officials for breaching guidelines in listing the company’s own digital coins, Bloomberg reported. 

For all PYMNTS crypto coverage, subscribe to the daily Crypto Newsletter.