Thailand Bans NFTs, Meme Tokens from Regulated Exchanges

Tokens that have ‘no clear objectives or substance’ are not allowed on the country’s regulated exchanges.

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Source: Shutterstock

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key takeaways

  • Thailand is home to a burgeoning regulated digital assets industry
  • In a recent whitepaper, a Bangkok-based law firm called the legal framework around NFT’s ‘unresolved’

The Securities and Exchange Commission in Thailand isn’t a fan of CryptoPunks, Beeple or the wild market gyrations of memecoins like DOGE. 

In a release over the weekend, the country’s market regulator said that regulated exchanges in Thailand will need to cease listings meme tokens, fan tokens, NFTs and exchange utility tokens that cut transaction fees for those that hold it like Binance’s BNB or FTX’s FTT. 

Thailand is home to 13 licensed digital asset exchanges. The largest of which is Bitkub, which has around $90 million a day in trading volume according to CoinGecko.  

The Thai SEC defines meme tokens as having “no clear objectives or substance, and whose prices are dictated by social media trends.”

All this comes as the NFT market begins to cool. Data from market tracker NonFungible shows that the market peaked at a seven-day average of $176 million in sales on May 9, while as of June 14 that number has dropped to just over $9.5 million. 

NFT Sales in June 2021
NFT market data from May 7, 2021, to June 14, 2021; Source: NonFungible

The number of active wallets — people actively using NFTs — has been cut in half from around 20,500 in late March to just over 10,000 today.   

In a March whitepaper, Bangkok-based law firm Pugnatorius called the legal framework surrounding NFTs “unresolved”. The firm pointed out that in the eyes of the law, NFT’s aren’t digital certificates of ownership but rather a “certificate of sponsorship” and copyright or any sort of IP ownership remains with the creator not the purchaser. 

“Just your NFT, not your asset,” the firm concluded. 

Shortly after Beeple sold his $69.3 million NFT to a buyer named MetaKovan, the Washington Post reported that MetaKovan might have had a financial interest in a bullish NFT market as he owns a significant stake of the B20 tokens for its eponymous blockchain the NFT for Beeple’s work was sold on. 

At the time of the sale, tokens for B20 peaked at around $23.66, according to CoinGecko, and they have since dropped to 71 cents. 

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