According to local media reports, the Thai regulators are progressing on increasing their vigilance over the crypto sector. The Thai authorities have issued a new set of rules to safeguard the interests of crypto investors.
Recently, the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), had issued new guidelines focusing on investor protection for digital asset service providers. Notably, investor protection regulations have been under discussion since September 2022 amid the crypto lending crisis that saw firms such as BlockFi and Celsius declare bankruptcy.
The new guidelines require digital asset service providers to offer adequate warnings highlighting risks associated with cryptocurrency trading. The regulator announced that all platforms must display a message that reads:
Cryptocurrencies are high risk. Please study and understand the risks of cryptocurrencies thoroughly, because you may lose the entire investment amount.
Further, the Thai SEC has mandated that these warnings must follow certain standards. The notification reads that the warning message must be clearly visible, and before customers can use the service, the business operator must arrange for the users to give consent and acknowledge the risks.
Apart from a trading risks disclaimer, the new guidelines also prohibit service providers from using customers’ funds for lending or investment. These guidelines strictly instruct the crypto firms to adhere to these rules and ensure safety to their customers.
Notably, the instruction to restrict lending services comes as a reminder to the initial plan to ban the crypto lending services by the Thai SEC. This prohibits crypto platforms from offering any form of return on deposited crypto by customers.
As evident by the past and recent steps, the SEC’s aim is to increase protection for investors from the risks of lending services. The new regulations are set to come into effect from July 31, 2023. The discussion around new regulations for investor protection began on September 1, 2022, when the SEC approved the need for security warnings by cryptocurrency business operators to disclose the risks of trading cryptocurrencies.
The rules prohibiting digital asset business operators from providing services or supporting deposit-taking and lending services were discussed during meetings on December 1, 2022 and May 11, 2023. The new investor protection rules come after a massive crypto lending crisis during the 2022 bear market. Several crypto lending firms, which collected billions in customer deposits by promising hefty returns, went bankrupt during the bear market including BlockFi and Celsius.
To this, Thailand SEC has been extremely sensitive making sure to take necessary steps to enhance the regulatory environment. As reported by Todayq News reported in December, the securities regulator was preparing to impose a strict set of regulations on the crypto sector, especially following the FTX crisis that occurred in November last year. Following this, on January 17, the securities regulator issued new regulations mandating VASPs to establish a digital wallet management system to ensure efficient custody.
The Thai securities regulator also issued explicit warnings for crypto advertisers to adhere to a code of conduct. It stated that advertising contains material that could deceive investors and raise the dangers of their investments. As major economies across the globe struggle with implementing and framing a comprehensive set of regulations, Thai SEC has been consistent on its stance and giving constant reminders for compliance to the sector.