Two South East Asian countries have taken steps to protect crypto investors in their Jurisdiction. Singapore and Thailand have both today 3 July banned crypto exchanges from offering crypto lending services. This is coming as the countries say they have investor protection as top most priority.
In Singapore, the ban is a part of measures taken in line with the government’s new consumer protection policy for the booming crypto industry. Top among the measures is that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will enforce a ban on lending and staking for retail customers. The measure has been under deliberation since October last year but is finally being implemented.
The regulator is also demanding that crypto exchanges in the country move users’ funds to a trust before the end of the year. This is a measure to protect users’ investments and minimize losses as a result of hacks or any other incidents like what happened with FTX.
These measures do not in any way suggest that Singapore is working against crypto companies. The country’s regulator issued an in-principle approval to Ripple for a Major Payments Institution License, allowing the company to offer crypto tokens and services in the country just over a week ago.
The headquarters of Crypto.com, a top crypto exchange is also in Singapore, and the company recently announced the launch of an international lab for blockchain and artificial intelligence development. This couldn’t be the case if the country was unfriendly like the case of the US.
Thailand Bans lending Services
Like Singapore, the securities and exchange commission (SEC) in Thailand has forbidden crypto exchanges from offering lending services. According to a release, the ban focuses on “depository services that offer returns to depositors and lenders.”
in addition, the SEC is demanding that starting from July 31, cryptocurrency trading center operators Cryptocurrency Broker and cryptocurrency traders must disclose a warning about potential risks associated with trading cryptocurrencies Saying “Cryptocurrencies are high risk. Please study and understand the risks of cryptocurrencies thoroughly, because you may lose the entire amount invested.”
The new regulation also bans advertisements or persuasion of the general public in any way to get people to do anything that will encourage participation in lending services offered by crypto exchanges. Furthermore, exchange operators must ensure users are sufficiently aware of and acknowledge the risks before consenting to use the service.
There must also be an investor suitability assessments to determine how much users are entitled to invest in crypto. The new rules are just further steps taken to protect investors.
Thailand had last year banned crypto payments, although allowing consumers to invest in crypto assets. To ensure that investors are protected, the SEC is bringing new rules now to ensure investors are aware of the risks in crypto investing as well as reduce the risks by placing a ban on lending services.
South East Asia Embracing Crypto
While the US is busy going after crypto businesses in the name of regulation, South East Asia seems to be taking steps to protect investors, but also allow the crypto industry to thrive. Both Singapore and Thailand are taking precautions and educating investors to be aware of the risks before investing in cryptocurrencies.
In the autonomous Chinese region of Hong Kong, regulators have also openly welcome cryptocurrencies, although it has drafted a regulatory framework for the industry. This step is behind the booming crypto industry in the region.
Instead of a crackdown, the US could embrace crypto but then adopt measures to educate and protect investors as is the case with these jurisdictions to prevent the innovation loss that has hit the country recently.