Thailand’s securities regulator ramps up investor protection with tighter digital asset regulation
Information picked up by local media outlet Bangkok Post noted that the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pushing for tighter controls over industry operators because of the recent implosions that rocked the industry this year. The SEC cited the collapses of TerraUSD, Celsius, and Three Arrows Capital (3AC) as reasons for the renewed urgency.
The collapse of local exchange Zipmex directly affected thousands of Thai investors, while FTX’s ill-fated implosion is widely considered to have an even larger impact. Onchain data indicates that FTX’s collapse negatively impacted at least 100,000 retail and institutional investors.
The SEC’s new policy regime is designed “to mirror the global market,” with advertising being the first sector affected. Under the new policy, celebrities and other influences used in promoting digital assets must seek the consent of the SEC.
Furthermore, firms involved in the custody of digital assets have been urged to employ industry standard processes to mitigate risk, while those involved in the withdrawal of fiat currency are expected to comply with “the principles for decentralized approval authority, and multi-sign approval authority.”
“The use of a client’s assets, fiat money, and digital assets for the benefit of another client or any other persons shall be prohibited, and clients’ assets shall be reconciled every business day to ensure accurate and updated records of clients’ assets,” said the SEC.
Recently, the commission banned digital asset firms from staking and lending virtual currencies to investors. At the same time, it opened a public inquiry to deliberate a potential ban on digital asset depository services.
The central bank is expected to receive wider powers
Thailand’s central bank is expected to wield wider powers under the incoming regime of digital asset regulation. At the moment, the SEC appears to be the main body responsible for keeping an eye out for the industry, but recent criticisms over the SEC’s lack of decisive action in the wake of industry implosions may see the central bank take center stage.
Thai Finance Minister Arkhome Termpittayapaisith disclosed the plans in a Bloomberg interview with pundits hinting that sharing regulatory control between two agencies might create new problems for the sector.
Thailand’s central bank has been making progress with developing a retail central bank digital currency (CBDC) in the hopes that it could steer the public away from virtual currencies.
Watch: The BSV Global Blockchain Convention panel, Law & Order: Regulatory Compliance for Blockchain & Digital Assets