Thailand’s vibrant cryptocurrency scene was disrupted earlier this month when its most popular exchange announced an abrupt closure. The news left digital asset traders worried and confused and afraid that a wider crackdown from the military dominated government could be around the corner.
September 2 was a dark day for the cryptocurrency industry in the country as its most famous platform told users they had a month to clear out their accounts.
BX Thailand told its huge customer base that it wanted to “focus on other business opportunities”, which made no sense given that the SEC registered exchange was successful.
As a result of the panic among clients, Bitcoin price traded at 10% lower than the rest of the international market on the exchange as Thailand users dumped digital assets. Bitcoin price dropped to $9,000 on BX as fears of a failure to liquidate escalated.
Fast forward to date, the situation is still unclear. The firm has yet to issue any reasonable cause for the move and several attempts to reach the management have been unsuccessful, according to the Bangkok Post.
Following the launch of Bitcoin Co. in 2013, bx.in.th was established in 2014 to offer a trading exchange for cryptocurrency assets. The company was a pioneer in the industry then and among the first to become officially authorized by the Ministry of Finance.
Speculation has increased over the quick closure and competing exchanges suggest that BX Thailand may been overcome by bureaucracy. More precisely, an unrealistic level of day to day transaction reporting required by regulators.
Satang Corporation Co. founder, Poramin Insom, claimed that the firm just may not have been prepared for this tragic workload or it considered customer privacy violations.
“BX [Bitcoin Co] may be worried about providing customer information and trading information to the SEC on a daily basis.”
Competition in the Kingdom has grown and rival exchange Bitkub CEO, Jirayut Srupsrisopa, suggested that this may have been the reason.
But that is quite unlikely though since BX was already the market giant, and they aren’t known to close business just because of one or two new competitors entering the market.
President and CEO at the ACIS Professional Centre, Prinya Hom-anek believes more clear information is required from regulators.
“We need market surveillance like the stock exchange has. There will definitely be future revisions [of the digital asset royal decree]. This is a case study, watched closely by global actors, for the SEC’s next move.”
As it seems, regulation and harsh bureaucracy appears to have led to the closure of another crypto platform. Thailand’s freshly appointed military supported government has a poor obsession with reporting and officialdom.
The new regime has recently implemented a nationwide crackdown on the movements of its massive expat community, sending many of them packing. If cryptocurrency platforms are its next target, BX won’t be the first to close business or seek friendlier regions.