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Thailand Intensifies Crypto Stance by Banning Staking, Lending

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Thailand is yet again tightening its grip on crypto. On Thursday, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced a ban on crypto companies from offering staking and lending services.

According to a press release, the decision to ban “depository services” is aimed to protect traders from crypto lending risks.

Crypto lenders and stakers including Celsius, Babel Finance, Voyager Digital and Hodlnaut have all collapsed following the 3AC fallout, locking up users’ funds by barring withdrawals.

The move comes as Thailand’s SEC has taking a more stringent approach on digital assets. Most recently, the SEC filed a police complaint against Zipmex after it failed to provide transactional information before a deadline.

Previously, the body announced Bitkub Chief Technology Officer Samret Wajanasathian was ordered to pay a fine of 8.5 million Thai baht for insider trading.

Read more: Bitkub Gets Rekt by Thailand SEC For Insider Trading

“The extreme volatility of digital-asset prices has spurred the urgent need for improved supervision,” Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, SEC secretary-general said in July.

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

Amid regulatory developments, Huobi, one of the world’s largest crypto exchanges, shut down its Thai platform on July 1, less than two years since its launch, after its license was revoked by the country’s crypto watchdog.

Read more: Vietnam, Philippines Top 2022 Crypto Adoption Index

Thailand’s tougher stance on crypto is in line with the cautious stance from some of its South East Asia neighbours. However, Vietnam and the Philippines, which have taken a less stringent approach to crypto have taken the first and second place in the Top 2022 Crypto Adoption Index. Thailand ranked 8th whilst Indonesia ranked 20th.