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Thailand is reportedly preparing to amend its law on digital assets to tighten the oversight of the crypto sector and empower the Thai central bank to oversee the sector. “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,” said the Thai finance minister.

Thai Central Bank Will Help Regulate Crypto Industry

Thailand is reportedly planning to amend its law on digital assets to tighten the oversight of the crypto sector, particularly trading platforms.

Thai Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith explained that the planned amendments to the country’s crypto regulations will “bring the central bank to be part of it,” Bloomberg reported Tuesday. He added that the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been asked to lead the regulatory overhaul. Under the current rules passed in 2018, the securities watchdog has the sole mandate to supervise the crypto industry.

The decision to overhaul crypto regulations followed the halting of withdrawals by Zipmex (Thailand) Ltd., a licensed cryptocurrency and digital token exchange in the country. Zipmex recently allowed some coins to be withdrawn but the company filed for a moratorium in Singapore.

Noting that the current regulatory framework for digital assets “is not clear enough to regulate the industry,” Termpittayapaisith was quoted as saying Monday:

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.

However, the official stressed that the aim of tighter crypto regulations is to provide investors with greater protection, not to throttle innovation or technology.

The Thai finance minister proceeded to compare crypto exchanges to traditional finance platforms. “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 detailed, elaborating:

We are trying to protect investors as well as keeping the players in the industry in the fair terms.

SEC Secretary-General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol revealed plans to overhaul current crypto regulations in July. She explained that the proposals included stricter qualifications for management and licensing of crypto custodians.

“The extreme volatility of digital-asset prices has spurred the urgent need for improved supervision,” she noted at the time. “Our main focus will be to provide more protection for small investors, some of whom are putting most of their savings into these assets.”

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