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Thai SEC rolls back income requirements for digital currency traders after furor

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has distanced itself from a draft plan that would have required digital currency investors to meet a 1-million-baht minimum annual income requirement, as well as a host of other restrictions.

Confirming the draft proposals were only meant to test stakeholder sentiment, the SEC withdrew the plans following sharp public criticism in the hours after its announcement, Bangkok Post reported.

A live talk about the measures has now been brought forward three weeks from its original schedule to help the regulator deal with the fall-out from its suggestions.

The proposals proved immediately unpopular due to the high threshold pinned on digital currency traders, which would have acted as a ban on low and middle income traders from accessing digital currencies in the country.

Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, secretary-general of the SEC, said the proposals were only designed to assess the public mood, and can still be amended in light of the outcry.

“I proposed the criteria that many considered too tough to prompt people to express their opinions on the matter and did not intend to say these are the exact qualifications that will be implemented.”

However, she indicated that some further measures would be needed in order to protect digital currency investors, which the SEC considers to be mostly new and generally inexperienced.

“If the SEC just stands by and does nothing, it would be totally our responsibility if investors lose on cryptocurrency.”

The step comes in response to a surge in digital currency activity in Thailand in recent months, which even helped crash local exchange Bitkub, simply due to the demands placed on its systems.

A dinner meeting with representatives from local digital currency exchanges last Friday also indicated that the regulator was open to differing views about the regulation of digital currency in the country, sparking hopes a U-turn could be on the cards.

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