Thailand to introduce in-person KYC for crypto exchanges
Thailand financial regulators are planning to tighten the restrictions in the process of new account creation at crypto exchanges.
According to a report published by Bangkok Post, the country’s Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) announced that as of July, crypto exchanges must verify the identities of new customers in-person using a “dip-chip” machine.
The dip-chip machines will scan a chip embedded in Thai citizen ID cards, requiring customers to be physically present for the verification process. The new regulations may also prevent foreign investors from directly accessing exchanges in the country.
Apparently, lawmakers also seem keen to apply the same regulations for gold sales worth more than 100,000 THB (roughly $3,200). Several gold merchants in the capital, Bangkok, have already set up dip-chip machines for identity verification.
Crypto space is gaining popularity in Thailand, with the number of accounts with Thai crypto exchanges spiking from 160,000 at the end of 2020 to nearly 700,000 at the start of May. Industry executives have expressed concerns the new rules will stifle the growth of Thailand's crypto sector.
Poramin Insom, co-founder and director of Thailand based crypto exchange Satang Corp, stated:
“Most digital asset exchanges are still busy preparing their systems to accommodate the growing number of clients as new account applications continue to flow in. However, this growth may be curbed if the application process becomes more complicated.”
Thailand’s largest exchange, Bitkub, which was temporarily suspended by the SEC in January, denied to comment on any type of statement regarding the new KYC requirements, stating that the new rules had not been officially implemented yet.
In mid-March, the central bank outlawed the use of a stablecoin pegged to the Thai Baht.