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Proposed crypto investors requirements just meant to test public sentiment, says Thai regulator

The crypto market’s rally, which sent the prices of popular digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to new heights, has attracted many new and sometimes inexperienced investors into the market.

Bangkok, Thailand / Image by: Wikimedia Commons

Thu, 04 Mar 2021, 14:28 pm UTC

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has clarified its stance on the draft proposing a minimum income for crypto investors. The regulator explained that the draft was just meant to test public sentiment after the proposal was met with criticism.

The SEC has backtracked from its proposal that would have introduced changes on the requirements for new crypto traders seeking to open accounts with exchanges. Last month, the regulator released a draft that suggested new investors should have at least 1 million baht (around $33,000) minimum annual income, proven trading experience, and pass a minimum age limit, according to Coindesk.

However, the proposal was met with criticism for imposing excessively high standards for new crypto traders. The average annual salary in Thailand is around 175,450 baht, or $5,800, which would mean that people with low or middle incomes would be barred from investing in cryptocurrencies based on the draft’s standards.

“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, according to Bangkok Post.

The crypto market’s rally, which sent the prices of popular digital currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) to new heights, has attracted many new and sometimes inexperienced investors into the market. In fact, Thailand’s local crypto exchange Bitkub, had to temporarily close for maintenance as the spike in trading activities caused several systems crashes.

The SEC is worried that most of those who are investing in cryptocurrencies are mostly new to the asset class and that they may not be well-informed enough about the risks associated with the highly volatile market. “If the SEC just stands by and does nothing, it would be totally our responsibility if investors lose on cryptocurrency,” Suwanmongkol said.

However, the regulator appears to be still open to the opinions of those within the crypto industry. The SEC held a dinner talk with various representatives from local crypto exchanges last Friday.

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