Thailand Takes Decision to Ban Unlicenced Crypto Exchanges to Prevent Online Crime

Thailand has decided that all crypto firms operating within its provincial limits must be officially licenced and approved to conduct businesses. The global crypto market has been swelling by the day, especially now when majority cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin are undergoing a bull run. With more investors flocking to the crypto circle, governments from around the world are taking actions to strengthen rules for companies and exchanges tied to the volatile sector. The aim is to ensure that crypto investments do not cause financial damages to the investor communities.

This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand released a public order that said that it was coordinating with the Thai government to block unauthorised providers of digital assets services.

“At the meeting on April 19, 2024, it was resolved to order the SEC to submit information on unauthorised digital asset service providers to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society Proceed to block access to the platform of the said service provider,” Pornanong Busaratrakul, Secretary-General of the Thai SEC said in an official statement.

Earlier this year, the government of India also announced that crypto players that were not registered with the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) would not be allowed to operate their businesses in the country. Cryptocurrencies are capable of facilitating peer-to-peer transfers of large amounts of funds, even cross border, in real time. Since crypto transactions are largely anonymous, notorious miscreants exploit crypto assets to facilitate unlawful activities like money laundering.

Several governments across the world are trying to reduce the misuse of digital assets before the sector merges with the existing global financial systems uniformly. The Thai government, in its public order, has advised all citizens to withdraw any funds that they may have stacked on unregistered crypto exchanges to avoid facing any financial losses as the decision of banning unregistered exchanges comes into effect.

ByBit, OKX,, and Bitkub are among popular platforms that are offering crypto exchange services in Thailand. The authorities of Thailand have now released a list of entities that offer crypto-related services but have not received official approvals to do so.

“The SEC would like to warn the public and investors to be careful of using services with unauthorized digital asset business operators. Because they will not be protected by law. There is also a risk of being deceived (scam) including the risk of money laundering,” the notice added.

The Thai authorities have also asked for public help in identifying unlicenced service providers from the digital assets sector. Thailand taking steps to tighten the oversight on crypto-related operations comes at a time when the crypto circle is widening in the tourist-favourite destination. It is estimated that 13.02 million people in Thailand, making for 9.3 percent of the total population, own cryptocurrencies.

Crypto crimes have already been causing financial damages to Thai citizens, the government there now wishes that crypto assets are not exploited from within its territory. In August 2023, Thailand’s ministry of digital economy had claimed that over 2,00,000 Thai nationals were duped via Facebook where scammers lured them with crypto schemes and auctions for high returns, among other scams. The collective financial loss due to these scams had amounted to THB 10,000 million (roughly Rs. 2,370 crore), the Thai authorities had said at the time.

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About the Author: Daniel