Thai regulator clamps down on NFTs, meme tokens on exchanges

Financial regulators in Thailand have banned the trade of NFTs and meme tokens on cryptocurrency exchanges operating in the country, in a bid to stamp out perceived riskier elements of digital asset trading.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is responsible for overseeing the regulation of digital currency exchanges in Thailand, said the digital asset platforms were no longer able to trade meme-based tokens, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and exchange-issued tokens effective immediately.

The ban includes tokens such as Dogecoin, originally a joke token that has now gained some traction within crypto communities online, as well as NFTs, unique tokens which act as a representation of digital files and media assets, according to the Bangkok Post report.

The SEC’s secretary-general, Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, set out a few core characteristics for banned tokens—those that have no clear objective with prices influenced by social media, fan or influencer based tokens, any unique token that cannot be exchanged for an equivalent, and any token issued by a digital asset exchange directly.

Digital currency exchanges subject to the ruling have a period of 30 days to comply with the decree, with the authorities then expected to step in and formally delist tokens that still fail to meet their compliance requirements.

The moves from the Thai regulators tally with other countries worldwide, which are exhibiting growing caution over digital currency trading, speculation and dubious tokens. This week, Italy’s regulator warned about the impacts of digital tokens on wider economic stability, while colleagues in the Netherlands called for an outright ban on digital tokens, after saying they would never become dominant over fiat currencies.

The Thai position comes as the latest attempt from local authorities to introduce controls into the domestic digital currency market, over concerns about the impact of speculation and trade in tokens could have on the country’s wider financial system.

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