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Thailand Regulator Introduces ‘Physical Identification’ KYC Process on Crypto Exchanges

Thailand is introducing new stringent laws to govern cryptocurrency service providers in the country, a Bangkok Times report stated on Monday. According to the report, Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLo) requires local crypto exchanges to implement physical identification of customers via a “dip-chip” machine that requires clients to be physically present.

Over the past quarter, the country has seen a boost in crypto accounts on exchanges as the younger generation takes akin to the industry, but the numbers could slow down with respect to the new laws. The dip-chips machines will be introduced in September, having previously been used in gold and jewelry shops.

The new laws will come into effect in July this year and are expected to slow the overall growth of crypto investors in the country. Speaking on the effect of the new rules, Poramin Insom, co-founder and Director of Thai-based crypto exchange, Santang Corp, said,

“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.”

Currently, local exchanges only require customers to fill in their details electronically and submit their documents online to register on the platform. However, the new ‘dip-chip’ system will require Thai citizens to scan a chip in their national IDs on physical machines to register and trade crypto in the country. On top of collecting users’ information, the new rules also aim to prevent foreign customers from accessing the local exchanges and prevent money laundering.

The report further states digital asset intermediaries in the country will discuss the issue at the Thailand Digital Asset Operators Trade Association forum set to take place later in the month. The self-regulated organization aims to “further discuss issues with regulators and government entities” in charge of digital assets in the country, such as the SEC.

Notwithstanding, the law also states exchanges must report any suspicious transactions to relevant authorities and report transactions worth over 1.8 million baht (~$58,000).

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