Thailand’s securities regulator will conduct a public hearing this month to determine qualifications for cryptocurrency traders to ensure investor protection.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand is looking to gauge what qualifications should be imposed on retail investors opening new cryptocurrency trading accounts.
According to a report by the Bangkok Post, the regulator plans to initiate a new qualification system for crypto trading. It aims to ensure that new retail investors moving into crypto trading have sufficient financial resources to absorb the risks associated with cryptocurrency trading and volatile price swings.
“We should set some screening criteria such as age, trading experience and level of revenue or wealth to limit risks,” said the SEC’s secretary-general, Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol.
The move is a response to the recent flood of sign-ups to local crypto exchanges amid the surge in cryptocurrency prices. There are 124,000 new investor sign-ups within the first week of February, bringing the monthly total to 594,000 as of Feb. 8, according to the SEC’s data.
HK’s Proposed Rules Drives Traders ‘Underground’
Thai Finance Minister Arkhom Termpittayapaisith warned last week about the risks with crypto trading. “Cryptocurrencies have enormous risk,” Arkhom said. “Risk awareness will help those investors in avoiding excessive speculation on those assets.”
On another note, a cryptocurrency advocacy group warned that Hong Kong’s proposed rules on digital asset investment could drive traders toward unregulated platforms.
In November 2020, Hong Kong’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) announced a new regulation framework to put all digital asset exchanges under the oversight of the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Moreover, the new framework limits crypto trading to professional investors only.
If implemented, the new regime would drive retail investors to seek out unlicensed and peer-to-peer platforms, according to Global Digital Finance (GDF). GDF is an industry body representing cryptocurrency firms including Coinbase, OKCoin, Huobi, and BitMEX.
“Restricting cryptocurrency trading to professional investors only is different to what we have seen in other jurisdictions such as Singapore, the UK, and the US, where retail investors can buy and sell virtual assets,” Malcolm Wright, chairman of GDF’s advisory council, told SCMP.
Another industry group, the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, wrote in response to FSTB’s new framework: “Any barrier put in place to restrict the sale or purchase of bitcoin needs to be reasonable and well justified. Individuals … need to be able to use and accept bitcoin as payment.”