The government of Thailand has recently made efforts towards introducing an in-person-based KYC system for the cryptocurrency exchanges based in the country. The government has plans to reduce any and all new cryptocurrency accounts being created through the implementation of the abovementioned new KYC rules, restrictions and requirements.
The news comes at a time when various financial regulators within the country of Thailand are getting set to impose tighter restrictions and regulations regarding crypto exchanges as well as new user account creation. According to the Bangkok Post’s report on the 3rd of May 2021, the nation’s AMLO (Anti-Money Laundering Scheme) had made it known that as of the upcoming summer (specifically in July), any and all cryptocurrency exchanges in the country will be required to have the identities of any potential new customer be verified in person through the utilization of a ‘dip-chip’ machine.
Customers will now need to be physically present
While it is true that new users are able to have their identities verified on the cryptocurrency exchanges through the online submission of their respective documents, the ‘dip-chip’ machines, on the other hand, shall be implementing a system where an embedded chip shall be scanned. This chip shall be included in the citizens’ ID cards themselves and will thus make it compulsory for the users to be present physically in order for the verification process to be completed. Additionally, this new rule will hopefully go a long way towards making sure that only locals can invest in cryptocurrency in Thailand, as this new method effectively prevents foreign investors from getting involved.
Furthermore, authorities seem keen on applying this same method and set of regulations for any and all gold sales that may be worth over 100,000 Thai Baht (which would be just about $3,200). It should be mentioned that certain gold merchants in Bangkok are already utilizing ‘dip-chip’ machines for the purpose of identity verification.
Concern that new rules will stunt crypto growth in Thailand
The use of cryptocurrency in Thailand has skyrocketed as of late, with the total accounts in various cryptocurrency exchanges reaching approximately 700,000 at the beginning of May. There are thus some valid concerns that the new rules, regulations, and restrictions will do more to stifle the growth of cryptocurrency in Thailand rather than benefit it. The director and co-founder of Satang Corp, Poramin Insom, had stated that many cryptocurrency exchanges in Thailand are still struggling to deal with the rapidly increasing account creation numbers, and so complicating the application process is only going to stunt the industry’s growth in the country.
For now, we will have to wait and see what happens. In related news, it had been in the middle of this past March that the employment of a stablecoin which had been pegged to the nation’s currency, the Thai Baht, had been outlawed by the central bank.