Thailand’s ban on crypto was always meant to be a temporary solution, says Thai SEC’s FinTech Director


Thailand was one of the nations to initially impose a ban on the use of cryptocurrencies, before permitting it with regulations in place. The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] clarified that crypto-exchanges must seek approval from Thailand’s SEC and also provided an approved list of cryptocurrencies for the crypto-community. The list included Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH], XRP, and Stellar Lumens [XLM].

Achari Suppiroj, Director of the FinTech Department at the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC], revealed more facts about the country’s outlook towards crypto at Ripple’s Regionals Event held in Bangkok recently.

Achari noted that the decision behind banning crypto by the Bank of Thailand [BoT] was never permanent. She stated,

“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.”

She highlighted that the country came up with a framework and classified ‘virtual currencies as digital assets’ within three months. However, BoT’s Thammarak Moenjak accepted that they were unsure about the regulations. He said,

“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.”

On the flip side, Achari also agreed that previously, ICO projects were duping people, impacting the market a lot and was risky for investors. However, the country is now working towards maintaining a balance between innovations and protecting the investors. She added,

“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.”

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