Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has scrapped its new crypto regulations draft after it received massive backlash from the local community for setting a high bar for investors.
According to a Bangkok Post report, the proposal wanted the crypto investor’s minimum annual income to be 1 million baht (around $33,000), which is too high compared to Thailand’s per capita GDP of around $7,800, as per World Bank data.
The draft rules proposed a mandatory income verification of all Thai citizens willing to invest in cryptocurrencies, which received public backlash within hours of being published.
However, the regulator is now taking a safe stand saying the proposed criteria were only to gauge public opinion, a standard practice followed by the SEC while drafting regulatory frameworks.
“I proposed the criteria that many considered too tough to prompt people to express their opinions on the matter and did not intend to say these are the exact qualifications that will be implemented,” said Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, Secretary-General of the SEC.
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Moreover, she explained that the draft was misread by the investors as 1 million baht was clearly not the minimum annual income bar.
Investors Are Not Well-Informed
Thailand is among the emerging countries which are witnessing massive retail interest in cryptocurrencies, and the ongoing market rally fueled this demand further. However, the SEC is arguing that most of these new investors are not well-informed about high-risk investments.
“If the SEC just stands by and does nothing, it would be totally our responsibility if investors lose on cryptocurrency,” Suwanmongkol added.
The Thai regulator is now talking with local exchange operators to understand the investors’ sentiments and will conduct multiple Facebook live hearings this month to clarify the regulations.