Financial regulators in Thailand plan to tighten restrictions on creating new accounts on cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to a report by the Bangkok Post on Monday, the anti-bleaching agency announced that, starting in July, cryptocurrency exchanges must personally verify the identities of new customers with a dipping machine.
While new users can now verify their identity through cryptocurrency exchange by sending documents online, DIP chip machines will scan the chip embedded in the identity cards of Thai citizens, requiring customers to be physically present for the verification process. The new rules can also block foreign investors who cannot obtain Thai IDs from accessing the country’s stock exchanges.
Lawmakers also appear to be trying to enforce the same rules for gold sales over $ 100,000 (about $ 3,200). Some gold dealers residing in the country’s capital, Bangkok, are already using microprocessor machines to verify their identity.
The tightening of the rules is linked to the growing popularity of cryptocurrency groups in Thailand: the number of accounts on Thai cryptocurrency exchanges has grown from 160,000 by the end of 2020 to nearly 700,000 in early May. Industry leaders have expressed concern that the new rules will stifle growth in Thailand’s crypto sector. Buramin Insum, Co-Founder and CEO of Satang Corp., said:
“Most digital exchanges are still busy setting up systems to serve the growing number of customers as new account programs continue to emerge. However, this growth may be limited if the application process becomes more complex.”
The Digital Asset Operators Trade Association of Thailand is planning to hold a discussion on the new rules at the upcoming forum, which will allow dialogue with regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and AMLO.
Bitkub, Thailand’s largest exchange, which was temporarily suspended by the SEC in January, declined to comment on the new KYC requirements, saying the new rules had yet to be formally adopted.
In mid-March, the central bank banned the use of a stable currency pegged to the Thai baht.