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Thailand has become the latest country in Asia, after China, to restrict trading in the highly speculative cryptocurrencies and the non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued new regulations that ban certain types of digital coins, including meme currencies like Dogecoin. It said the ban is aimed at protecting traders from tokens that have “no clear objective or substance” and whose prices are influenced by social media trends and online influencers. The ban also includes “fan tokens” that are riding on the popularity of the celebrities they are influenced by.Though Thai nationals remain free to trade in these utility tokens and digital coins, the objective of tightening the rules on cryptocurrencies is to make it difficult for exchanges dealing with these assets to operate within Thailand and secure the country’s financial system.The SEC said in a statement that the exchanges that handle these trades are required to comply with the revised rules within 30 days of the issuance of the notification (June 11).The SEC notification prohibited exchanges from providing services related to utility tokens or cryptocurrencies that belong to any of the following classes — meme tokens, fan tokens, NFT or non-fungible token,s and digital tokens that are utilised in a blockchain transaction and issued by digital asset exchanges or related persons.In recent weeks, some of the major crypto coins like Bitcoin and Dogecoin have shown extreme volatility, first touching their lifetime highs and then diving to one of their lowest values. This volatility was largely blamed on the Chinese crackdown on the trading of these digital assets and controversial or negative tweets from tech billionaires like Elon Musk, who suddenly reversed his company Tesla’s decision to accept payments in Bitcoin. As of 5:27pm IST on June 16, Bitcoin price in India stood at Rs. 28,69 lakhs while Dogecoin price in India stood at Rs. 23.31. The Tesla CEO had also slammed Bitcoin miners for driving up fossil fuel use for mining and transactions and then said he was in talks with Dogecoin developers to find an energy-efficient way for trading in the meme currency.Working with Doge devs to improve system transaction efficiency. Potentially promising.— Elon Musk, the 2nd (@elonmusk) May 13, 2021There was no relevant update on this from Musk after this. His tweets had led to confusion among crypto investors who asked him to stay away from tweeting on the matter. They had also blamed him for the massive crash in the crypto market last month.Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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