Experts warn of cryptocurrency risks

Experts warn of cryptocurrency risks

The number of crypto traders in Thailand has risen to more than 1.1 million as of the end of July.
The number of crypto traders in Thailand has risen to more than 1.1 million as of the end of July.

Cryptocurrency trading value in Thailand spiked to 700-800 billion baht during the past 10 months and is expected to reach 1 trillion baht by the end of this year, according to Zipmex Thailand chief executive Akalarp Yimwilai at PostToday's Cryptocurrency Forum 2021 on Wednesday.

Mr Akalarp said the number of local crypto traders has increased to more than 1.1 million people as of the end of July.

However, despite surges in cryptocurrencies' trading value and popularity, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) remains concerned about investors' lack of knowledge.

For their part, investors view the rules and regulations pertaining to digital assets as obsolete and in dire need of a revamp to catch up with foreign markets, whose regulations for digital asset trade are more advanced.

The SEC has reportedly received a lot of complaints about digital asset trading scams and urged investors to carefully study the benefits and risks of the products.

The regulator also recommended investors trade only with companies that are licensed by the SEC.

The SEC said there have been many attempts to create digital exchanges with names resembling those that are licensed to confuse traders.

The regulator insists there are only 11 companies authorised to provide digital asset trading services in Thailand.

Jomkwan Kongsakul, assistant secretary-general of the SEC, said the regulator's main concern is young people are increasingly trading cryptocurrencies in the hope of easy gains without any investment experience or proper understanding of investment.

In the UK, a study found up to 45% of the new generation of traders had borrowed to invest in cryptocurrencies.

"We encourage crypto traders to thoroughly check the credibility of a company and study the feasibility of cryptocurrency trading before opening a trading account," said Ms Jomkwan.

"If traders face losses after opening an account with foreign digital exchanges or those not authorised by the regulator, they bear responsibility for the loss themselves. The regulator assumes no responsibility or liability."

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