Thai authorities target crypto in crackdowns

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It is no secret that cryptocurrency is not looked at favorably by all regulators around the world. Some regard crypto with skepticism and some are outright hostile to the asset class. These could stem from a lack of education about crypto, concerns about its possible use for crime, or just a dislike of digital assets.

This appears to be the case in Thailand as authorities have taken several steps over the last month to crack down on certain aspects of crypto use. From crypto mining to the accessibility of certain service providers, it has been an industry-wide effort.

Thailand vs Crypto?

One of the first of these developments came in late April 2024 when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand put out a warning to crypto exchange operators. The warning was directed specifically at exchanges being accused of glamorizing crypto trading and trying to lure in new customers with special perks.

"When operators organize sales promotions by offering rewards to entice people to use the service, this could encourage the use of the service without considering the investment risks. This is especially the case for cryptocurrencies," said the Commission's Deputy Secretary-General Anek Yooyuen.

Credit: SEC of Thailand

Credit: SEC of Thailand

It was noted that any false, misleading, or exaggerated claims in adverts were a violation of Thai law and could lead to serious repercussions. This is not a situation unique to Thailand as regulators in several countries have had to flag and even remove crypto-related ads that violated advertising guidelines.

Another development has been in the crypto-mining space. Crypto mining has always been a fairly controversial activity because of the amount of energy it often requires and Thai authorities are looking to crack down on illegal mining.

Recently, hundreds of crypto mining hardware that were illegally imported into the country were seized. The Cyber Crime Investigations Bureau office also conducted raids of illegal crypto mining operations after they observed unusual amounts of energy use.

Two raids were completed in Samut Sakhon's Ban Phaeo district and Ratchaburi where authorities discovered hundreds of crypto-mining hardware as well as illegal electricity distribution equipment. Following arrests, suspects admitted that they oversaw crypto mining operations for a fee and were importing the hardware from China.

Finally, Thai authorities are looking into local access to unauthorized crypto exchanges. The Thai SEC's Secretary-General Pornanong Busaratrakul announced in April that the commission will begin submitting details of unregistered crypto exchanges to the Ministry of Digital Economy and Society. The ministry, in turn, will block access to these sites.

It has been clarified that this will not affect all crypto exchanges but just the ones that have not been duly registered. More Thailand nationals have been using crypto for speculative trading and other purposes.

As Sergio Zammit has explained, there is a growing list of casinos that accept Cash App as well as crypto. This is along with more people choosing to gamble on an anonymous casino, not all of which are registered in every jurisdiction.


An increase in crypto use also means an increase in regulation surrounding it. Regulators who are looking to protect the public and the nation as a whole will likely continue to crack down on illegal or unregistered crypto use, whether that is the mining of tokens or the advertising of platforms.

Thailand is not the first nation to take these sorts of steps and, from all indications, will not be the last.