Regulators in Thailand tightened restrictions on cryptocurrency this week, throwing a wrench into the country’s ambition to become Southeast Asia’s leader in digital assets. The move comes as Thai interest in cryptocurrency weakens.
In 2018, Thailand became the first country in the region to introduce digital asset legislation as Thai consumers flocked to the nascent industry. But the number of active crypto trading accounts has fallen to a third of its January level, Bloomberg reports, and companies with significant crypto exposure on their balance sheets have seen their shares rapidly decline. Shares of Jasmine Technology, a telecoms giant that recently began bitcoin mining, have sunk 80% since their April peak.
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission filed a police complaint against struggling Singapore-based crypto exchange Zipmex on Wednesday. Zipmex halted withdrawals in July amid a broad downturn in the crypto market, and has since failed to provide the SEC with transactional information, the statement alleges.