Thai finance minister critical of current crypto speculative surge

The booming cryptocurrency exchange market in Thailand is causing some concern for government officials.

According to Bloomberg, Arkhom Termpittayapaisith – the country’s finance minister – has warned that the ongoing speculative obsession with cryptocurrencies could have dire effects on 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 explosive rise in trading activity that saw the volume of cryptocurrencies on regulated exchanges in Thailand reach 65 billion baht (about $ 2.17 billion) in January.

In December 2020, the total recorded turnover was around 19 billion baht ($ 630 million) – nearly a third of the January 2021 figure.

Commenting on the need for caution among retail traders, the Finance Minister said: “Cryptocurrencies have enormous risks. Awareness of risk will help these investors avoid excessive speculation on these assets.”

Termpittayapaisith’s comments echo similar warnings issued by Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, Secretary General of the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission. At the time, the head of the SEC called for moderation among retail traders while advising investors to avoid unregulated markets.

Cryptocurrency sentiment is currently on the rise as many “currencies” record huge spikes in price action. In fact, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies has increased by more than 70% since the start of the year.

Cryptocurrency trading in Thailand is highly regulated with government agencies that maintain strict control over activities on cryptocurrency exchange platforms.

In January, Thai regulators ordered the shutdown of Bitkub – the country’s largest crypto exchange – after a series of protracted disruptions to the platform.

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

Major financial institutions are also heavily involved in the country’s digital asset space. As Cointelegraph previously reported, Siam Commercial Bank recently set up a $ 50 million fund targeting investments in blockchain and decentralized financing.

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