Financial regulators in Thailand are preparing to tighten restrictions on creating new accounts on crypto exchanges.
According to a report by the Bangkok Post on Monday, the Anti-Money Laundering Authority announced that, as of July, cryptocurrency exchanges should personally verify the identities of new customers with a dipping machine.
While new users can currently verify their identity through cryptocurrency exchanges by sending documents over the Internet, DIP chip machines will scan the chip embedded in Thai citizens’ ID cards, requiring customers to be physically present during the verification process. The new rules could also block foreign investors who cannot obtain Thai IDs from accessing the country’s stock exchanges.
Lawmakers also appear to be seeking to apply the same rules to gold sales over THB 100,000 (approximately $ 3,200). Some gold retailers in the country’s capital Bangkok are already using microprocessor machines to verify their identity.
The tightening of the rules was due to the growing popularity of cryptocurrency groups in Thailand, with the number of accounts on Thai cryptocurrency exchanges rising from 160,000 by the end of 2020 to almost 700,000 in early May. Industry leaders have expressed concern that the new rules will stifle growth in Thailand’s crypto sector. Poramin Insum, co-founder and CEO of Thai Crypto Satang Corp. pronounced:
“Most digital exchanges are still busy setting up their systems to serve an increasing number of customers as new account applications continue to emerge. However, this growth may be limited if the application process becomes more complex.”
Thailand’s Digital Asset Operators Trade Association plans to hold a discussion at the upcoming forum on the new rules, which will allow dialogue with regulators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and AMLO.
Bitkub, Thailand’s largest stock exchange, which was temporarily suspended by the SEC in January, declined to comment on the new KYC requirements, saying the new rules had not yet been enacted.
In mid-March, the central bank banned the use of a stable currency linked to the Thai baht.