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More Crypto Regulation on the Cards in Thailand

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Thailand’s financial regulator, the Securities & Exchange Commission, is considering updating its existing digital asset regulations. And on the cards are stricter qualifications for management and licensing of crypto custodians.

“The extreme volatility of digital-asset prices has spurred the urgent need for improved supervision,” Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, SEC secretary-general, told Bloomberg in an interview published Friday.

“Our main focus will be to provide more protection for small investors, some of whom are putting most of their savings into these assets,” she said.

The news follows reports earlier this week that SEC-licensed exchange Zipmex, which is based in Singapore, paused customer withdrawals to “maintain the integrity” of the platform amid “volatile market conditions” and financial difficulties of key business partners.

The platform has since resumed withdrawals and deposits but trading remains disabled until further notice.

Read more: [UPDATED] Babel Exposure Might Have Caused Zipmex’s Downfall

Amid a boom in the crypto sector earlier this year, Thailand’s cabinet said in March that it would relax tax rules for digital asset investments to promote the industry. Under the new law, traders are able to offset annual losses against gains for taxes due on cryptocurrency investments.

The SEC also said in March that it was banning the use of cryptocurrencies as a means of payment, citing national financial threat. The new rules however, did not apply to trading or investments in digital assets.

Trading accounts surged from 170,000 in 2020 to 2 million at the end of 2021 in Thailand, with bitcoin being the most popular currency in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. However, according to SEC data, trading has slumped from its November 2021 hig