Thailand will block unlicensed crypto exchanges ‘to solve online crimes’

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Thailand’s decision to block unlicensed firms was inspired by India and the Philippines, which recently banned all offshore exchanges that failed to comply with local regulatory mandates.

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Thailand will block unlicensed crypto exchanges ‘to solve online crimes’

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Thai authorities will block unlicensed crypto exchanges from operating in the country to prevent money laundering and other online crimes. 

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will submit a list of unlicensed crypto exchanges to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society.

The order was made public by Thai SEC Secretary-General Pornanong Budsaratragoon after the Technology Crime Prevention and Suppression Committee meeting on April 19.

Thailand’s decision to block unlicensed firms was inspired by India and the Philippines, which recently banned all off-shore exchanges that failed to comply with local regulations.

To minimize the impact on the public, the Thai SEC urged crypto investors to withdraw their funds from unregistered platforms before the ban takes effect. A translation of the SEC announcement read:

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

The Thai SEC urged investors to check the license registrations of the platforms with the SEC Check First application before making any investments. A quick search of “Binance” shows that the crypto exchange has yet to register and will need to close down when the ban takes effect.

Thailand’s SEC Check First application shows the license status of Binance. Source: Thai SEC

Other popular offshore crypto exchanges such as Coinbase, KuCoin, Kraken and OKX do not operate legally in Thailand, according to government data.

Related: Apple India blocks Binance, 9 other crypto exchanges weeks after FIU notice

Regulatory pressure in Europe could lead to a ban on non-decentralized protocols. According to the Markets in Crypto-Assets (MiCA) — the new regulatory framework governing digital assets within the region — the European Commission is required to prepare a report by Dec. 30, evaluating the decentralized finance (DeFi) market and the feasibility of specific regulations for the sector.

Among many crypto entrepreneurs, MakerDAO co-founder Rune Christensen noted that the rules could place some DeFi interfaces, such as decentralized exchanges, under licensing requirements.

“This would make DeFi frontends on normal internet domains, as we know them today, impossible. Only fully decentralized, local, downloaded frontends or full-KYC online frontends would be possible. Sad,” he wrote on X.

Magazine: a16z snubs crypto, Mango Markets exploiter found guilty and Worldcoin L2: Hodler’s Digest, April 14-20

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