In-Person ID Checks May Be on the Way for Thai Crypto Exchange Users: Report

New exchange users will have to use machines to scan their ID card chips before they can open a crypto account, says an industry exec.

AccessTimeIconMay 4, 2021 at 10:04 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:50 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency exchanges in Thailand may soon be required to onboard new customers using a machine that verifies an individual's identity in person.

According to a report by the Bangkok Post on Monday, citing an industry executive, fresh exchange users will have to follow new know-your-customer (KYC) measures established by the country's Anti-Money Laundering Office (AMLO) from the autumn.

The introduction of a "dip-chip" machine, set to come into effect in September, will require new customers to scan the chip embedded in their government-issued ID cards before they can open a crypto account, said Poramin Insom, co-founder and director of Satang Corp., a cryptocurrency trading platform..

Users are currently able to verify their identities by submitting relevant documents online, but the process is reportedly sometimes slow and inefficient as the exchanges independently verify that all IDs comply with relevant KYC regulations.

The machines are expected to reduce disputes, increase transparency and speed applications, and are increasingly used in the local gold trading sector, per the report.

"Most digital asset exchanges are still busy preparing their systems to accommodate the growing number of clients as new account applications continue to flow in," said Poramin.

There are over 697,000 cryptocurrency accounts in Thailand, an increase of 160,000 from the end of last year, according to the report. Poramin warned that the ID-check machines could curb this growth by making the sign-up process more "complicated."

A forum is expected to be held at a later date by the self-regulated Thailand Digital Asset Operators Trade Association in order to facilitate discussion between the country's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the AMLO and affected parties.

Thailand's SEC recently proposed a draft plan suggesting new crypto investors should have a 1 million baht ($32,000) minimum annual income, a minimum age limit and proven trading experience in order to sign up with crypto exchanges. However, that was walked back following intense public backlash.

CoinDesk attempted to contact the AMLO and Poramin for more information, but did not receive a reply by press time.


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