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Daily Digest | Thailand says no to NFTs and meme coins

Written by The Uptake Published on     2 mins read

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Is an all-out ban an overreaction?

Hi, it’s Degen.

Cryptoheads in Thailand took another hit last week as the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission banned local exchanges from listing or trading meme coins, fan-based coins, and NFTs as of June 11. So much for dogecoin to the moon in the Land of Smiles.

Once again, Thailand is taking an authoritative stance on a burgeoning industry in the name of protecting users from schemes that could “potentially cause damage to their investments.” While regulators might have good intentions, this is certainly another blow to a country that saw trading volumes on crypto exchanges hit USD 2.5 billion in 2020.

NFTs have seen surging popularity over the last few weeks as they offer artists and creators a unique way to sell their  “art.” For those in Thailand, a country that has been shut for over a year, NFTs, and even trading meme coins, could be ways for people to earn more income, despite the government believing otherwise.

As the SEC only has control over local exchanges, it’s clear that those intent on buying NFTs or meme coins will turn to foreign exchanges, sending their hard-earned money abroad. Additionally, Thais looking to set up exchanges are likely to do so overseas due to increasing regulations cracking down on crypto. That’s hardly ideal for a country desperate to jumpstart its pandemic-hit economy.

Are there risks with NFTs and meme coins? Absolutely. Could the government have introduced regulations to better protect its citizens from pump-and-dump schemes, besides an all-out ban? Definitely. As it has been less than a week since the regulation was introduced, time will tell if the government will circle back to reconsider the ban amid calls to reverse it.

The ban does not affect coins that have already been listed on local exchanges. So for those of you in Thailand eager to trade an already listed meme coin and hoping Elon Musk tweets about it, more power to you.

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