Thai finance minister critical of current crypto speculative surge

Thailand’s finance minister is not a fan of the retail crypto mania that saw monthly trading volume triple in January.

Thailand’s booming cryptocurrency trading market is causing some concern for government officials.

According to Bloomberg, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith — the country’s finance minister — has warned that the ongoing crypto speculative mania could have dire implications for Thailand’s capital market.

The finance minister issued the warning while addressing a capital market conference on Thursday.

As part of his remarks, Termpittayapaisith highlighted the massive surge in trading activity that saw crypto volume on Thailand’s regulated exchanges reach 65 billion baht (about $2.17 billion) in January.

In December 2020, the total trading volume recorded was about 19 billion baht ($630 million) — roughly a third of the January 2021 figure.

Commenting on the need for caution among retail traders, the finance minister said, “Cryptocurrencies have enormous risk. Risk awareness will help those investors in avoiding excessive speculation on those assets.”

Termpittayapaisith’s comments echo similar warnings issued by Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, the secretary-general of Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission. At the time, the SEC chief called for moderation among retail traders while advising investors to avoid unregulated markets.

Cryptocurrency sentiment is currently on a high with the many “coins” posting massive upward price action rallies. Indeed, the total crypto market capitalization is up more than 70% year-to-date.

Crypto trading in Thailand is a highly regulated affair with government agencies maintaining strict oversight on the activities on cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

Back in January, Thai regulators ordered the shutdown of Bitkub — the country’s largest crypto exchange — after a series of lengthy outages suffered by the platform.

Bitkub did resume its services a few days later after submitting revised improvement plans to the country’s SEC.

Mainstream financial establishments also have significant involvement in the country’s digital asset space. As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Siam Commercial Bank recently set up a $50 million fund targeted at investments into blockchain and decentralized finance.

The country’s central bank is also working on its own sovereign digital currency.

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