Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has banned crypto exchanges in the country from trading in certain types of tokens. This includes meme tokens, fan tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs), as well as exchange-issued tokens.
The move comes as part of the SEC’s attempt to implement a framework for crypto in the country. According to Secretary-General Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, the board meeting held on June 9 had passed a resolution to enforce the ban. The SEC announced the new regulations on Friday, June 11.
What tokens has Thailand banned?
According to the announcement, the SEC has prohibited exchanges from “providing services related to utility tokens or cryptocurrencies” with any of the characteristics it has specified.
First on the list are meme tokens. The Thai regulator defines meme tokens as those “having no clear objective or substance or underlying [value].” In addition, their prices are determined by social media trends.
Meme coins like Dogecoins have surged in popularity due to endorsements from celebrities like Elon Musk. Recently, he had also accidentally promoted cryptocurrency CumRocket.
The second on the SEC’s list is fan tokens. Fan tokens, as per SEC, are “tokenized by the fame of influencers.” Simply put, these tokens represent an influencer. These tokens can be used to redeem merchandise or for 1 on 1 time with the influencer.
Next on the list is NFTs, which surged in popularity this year. Owners of NFTs have been raking in millions in recent months. For instance, a few days back, Sotheby’s auctioned a CryptoPunks NFT for $11.5 million. The auction house’s NFT sale featuring 27 artists had fetched a total of $17.1 million.
The last token on the list is exchange tokens. This includes crypto exchange issued tokens that give holders benefits such as reduced transaction fees. For example, Binance’s BNB, FTX’s FTT, and Huobi’s Huobi Token are some of the common exchange tokens.
The crypto exchanges in the country will have 30 days to comply with the new regulations.
Crypto regulations spike in Thailand
This year, the country’s crypto space has faced several regulations. Early this month, the SEC had announced that decentralized finance (DeFi) projects would potentially require a special license.
“The issuance of digital tokens must be authorised and overseen by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the issuer is required to disclose information and offer the coins through the token portals licensed under the Digital Asset Decree,” the SEC was quoted as saying by the Bangkok Post.
Meanwhile, last month, the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) had announced new regulations in the crypto space. These would require in-person ID checks to open new crypto accounts. The regulations will come into effect in September.
Thailand follows in the footsteps of countries like India, Nigeria, and Iran, which are mulling to ban or regulate cryptocurrencies. For instance, in February, Nigeria had banned cryptocurrencies. Meanwhile, in January, Iran had confiscated around 1,000 Bitcoin mining machines amid rising electricity consumption.