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Crypto investors in Thailand need to be physically present for identity verification under new regulation

Crypto exchanges are required to verify their customers' identities using a machine that requires the physical presence of their clients.

Bangkok, Thailand / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Wed, 05 May 2021, 15:20 pm UTC

New crypto regulation has been recently announced by Thailand’s government. Digital exchanges are now required to verify the identities of new customers using a machine that would require the clients to be physically present.

The country’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (Amlo) announced that local digital exchanges will be required to verify their customers’ identities using a “dip-chip” machine, which requires clients to be physically present, according to the Bangkok Post. Satang Corp. co-founder and director Poramin Insom said that the new requirement will take into effect in September.

There are 697,790 crypto accounts in the country up 336 percent from last year’s 160,000 accounts. However, the new requirement might dampen the explosive growth of account openings when it takes into effect later this year.

“Most digital asset exchanges are still busy preparing their systems to accommodate the growing number of clients as new account applications continue to flow in,” Poramin Insom said. “However, this growth may be curbed if the application process becomes more complicated.”

At the moment, crypto account openings in Thailand are done entirely online, according to Bitcoin.com. Exchanges are only required to ensure that the documents submitted by applicants comply with KYC and suitability test as required by the SEC.

The submitted documents will also be verified by government agencies. Submitting fake documents could result to the rejection of the account opening application.

Crypto exchanges are also required to report transactions over 1.8 million baht ($58,000} as required by the money laundering law. In addition, platforms must put up a database, which will be inspected by the country’s regulators.

In response to the new crypto regulation, digital asset intermediaries plan to discuss the issue at a forum that will be arranged by the Thailand Digital Asset Operators Trade Association. The aim for the forum is to gather questions about the new law, which the self-regulated organization plans to discuss with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Amlo.

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