Amid new bitcoin scam scandal, Thailand ranks the second global crypto owner

February 19, 2019, | AtoZ Markets - According to the Digital Research 2019, that provides essential insights on how people around the world use the internet, social media, mobile devices, and e-commerce, Thailand was recognized as the first country by the number of mobile banking users and the second in terms of the cryptocurrency ownership. The results of the study were published in the local news platform on Tuesday and came against background about mining scammers, spotted in Bangkok.

Digital research details in brief

The global digital report of 2019 prepared in collaboration with Hootsuite social network management platform, based on users aged 16 to 64 years in the second and third quarters of 2018, showed that from the point of view of the internet users who own cryptocurrency, Thailand gets silver.

As the study, conducted by the global agency WeAreSocial showed, South Africa is the leader of the ranking with 10.7% of mobile users who own a cryptocurrency, and Indonesia ranks third with 9.5%.

Although Thailand is second in ranking according to number of crypto owners, the country is the leader in the world in terms of access to the internet banking services, with 74 percent of the population using it.

Thailand is the new Blockchain and Crypto heaven?

The popularity of cryptocurrency in Thailand may be due to the rapidly growing blockchain industry which receives welcoming governmental support. The Thai government since the start of the year, has become increasingly outspoken of cryptocurrency. In a few months, the local regulators have made notable progress, from setting up cryptocurrency company licenses to permitting exchanges and ICOs. In July last year, the country first announced its encryption licensing policy. After that, 20 firms working in the crypto field applied for a license.

Earlier this year, the local press reported that the Thai Stock Exchange (SET) plans to open a new digital asset exchange. According to the local media, SET plans to submit an application to the Ministry of Finance to manage the stock exchange in the near future.

A week earlier the Thai finance ministry also granted with licenses to conduct business on digital assets four separate companies: Coins TH Co., Satang Corporation, Bitkub Online, and Bitcoin Exchange.

Blockchain and Cryptos demand control to secure protection from the scammers

Despite positive governmental attitude towards the blockchain, this technology stays under certain control and regulations of the local authorities. That helps to avoid fraudulent activity involving cryptos and protect investors that could be lured into risky business by the bad actors.

Last May, a royal edict of 100 sections, published in the Thai press, defined cryptocurrencies as “digital assets and digital tokens.”

In November, Deputy Prime Minister Vissan Crea-Ngam called for additional rules on cryptocurrency that must be introduced to keep pace with evolving tactics and consumer safety threats.

Such governmental reaction does not come without a reason. The local Bangkok press reported on Feb 18 about cryptocurrency mining scam which got under the radar of the Technology Crime Suppression Division of Thailand. 30 people have stated that they were fooled into an alleged investment scam called “CryptoMining.Farm.” The fraudulent activity of the alleged firm led the loss of 42 million baht ($1.34 million). Local authorities suspect that in total 140 individuals became the victims of the scam. According to one of the victims, from August, the platform owner began to introduce conditions for withdrawing money and at the beginning of February, the site announced that it would begin to repay deposits in 84 lots, which would take more than seven years. According to the anonymous source, the payments would also be made in foreign currencies, which is illegal according to Thai law.

This is not the first fraud case in Thailand in which any cryptocurrency occurred. Last year, the former actor of the series Dzhiratpisit "Boom" Jaravigit was accused of stealing $ 24 million from a 21-year-old Finnish investor Aamai Otava Saarimaa by luring him into bitcoin fraud. The individuals accused of plotting to cheat and laundering money reportedly pleaded not guilty in a court in Bangkok in November 2018.

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