back to article Thailand bans joke cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission has banned dealing in some cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. A Saturday announcement prohibits digital exchanges from handling four types of tokens: “Meme tokens” that the regulator characterises as having no clear purpose, no underlying value and whose prices fluctuate …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just ban all crypto currencies.

    Your stock market will stabilize as it's no longer being used by those whom manipulate crypto currencies for their own enrichment. Your economy will settle down as citizens no longer have to worry about how, when, why, nor even if to begin accepting crypto currencies in addition to nor instead of actual fiat currencies. Best of all is the fact that your country will be seen as inhospitable to the use of crypto currencies which will have a knock on affect of making nobody want to start a crypto currency mining operation there either, meaning you won't end up like Ireland which is currently having to order it's power generating grid to prioritize everything _other_ than such massive power drawing enterprises lest the entire nation suffer rolling blackouts due to an inability to deliver the terawatts demanded by such entities. Just nip that migraine inducing pain in the arse right here, right now, and save yourselves a ton of ever greater pains in the future...

    1. Potemkine! Silver badge

      Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

      But but but... how could then the ransomware scum thrive?

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

        I guess you'll just have to imagine my sorrow.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

        Oh MS, Adobe, etc, are doing very well out of making folk pay to keep accessing their own cloudy data.

    2. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

      I will concede there is much about the modern world (everything post-2001) I don't get, but crypto-currency is definitely number one on my WTAF list.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

        Same here. When I first heard of them I presumed folk were performing some sort of useful computation in return for money, a bit like a commercial SETI system. Then I found out the moronic truth :(

        1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

          Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

          Not all cryptocurrencies are "proof of work". Not all of them are pointless "digital gold" like Bitcoin.

          Many have actual industrial applications.

          1. Martin an gof Silver badge

            Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

            Many have actual industrial applications.

            Obligatory XKCD


            1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

              Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.


              1. Martin an gof Silver badge

                Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

                Forgive me if I'm being dim, but those don't seem to be applications of digital currency, they are applications of the supposedly irrefutable audit trail offered by "blockchain" technology. It's a technological answer to the signature and the leather-bound ledger.


              2. GraXXoR

                Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

                While crypto currencies tend to use blockchain, not all use of blockchain is crypto. I think your examples are not actually crypto currencies but implementations of their intrinsic tech, blockchain.

                1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                  Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

                  And "blockchain" is just a degenerate Nagle tree, where some consensus mechanism adorns one branch as "truth" and forgets all the others (until you get a fork, which is just a split among the consensus participants).

                  There are other applications of Nagle trees and other Nagle graphs. Some industries are even moving toward enshrining more complex Nagle DAGs1 into interoperable business processes and even published standard.

                  Of course, as any number of people (including cryptocurrency/blockchain skeptics such as Bruce Schneier) have pointed out, we have other distributed-ledger mechanisms too. Nagle graphs are very useful in particular applications, just as, say, Bloom filters or Paxos are. But there's definitely a lot of square-peg-in-round-hole bullshit coming from the blockchain enthusiasts.

                  1Nagle graphs are always DAGs, because the definition requires direction, and the construction mechanism excludes cycles (though it could be extended to allow them by carrying multiple hashes in a node, if you're clever about it). They don't have to be connected, though.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

            Is anyone buying that? People are buying crypto-coins as a "get rich quick" speculation scheme, not for some imagined industrial application.

            Speculation works right up until more people cash out, than new suckers buy in. The illusion of value disappears, and the whole scheme collapses.

            It's really no different than any other Ponzi scheme. A bit of blockchain BS to give it a gloss of legitimacy, but ultimately whoever cashes out late gets nothing, and the people cashing out early are getting paid from people joining the scheme later.

            The hallmarks of a ponzi scheme.

            So here Thailand wants them to pass the hot potato before it burns them. Yeh, you wonder why that isn't the case everywhere!

            1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

              Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

              There's a huge amount of money tied up in Ethereum smart contracts, and much of it appears to come from corporations. I think it's rather daft, myself, but it does appear to be an actual functioning market, not just speculation.

              There are any number of academic studies that analyze the Ethereum economy, if someone wants confirmation of that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

        Well cryptocurrencies are useful tools that provide the following services:

        - anonymous and untrackable (almost) paiement

        - money laundering (see above)

        - anonymous manipulation of the rate to real money in order to completely screw up and extort the gullible who was stupid enough to buy some

        If none of the above is your cup of tea, nothing good to see, here. Unless you create your own to get rich, see point 3.

        OH, and why are there hundreds of them ? Wait... point 3 ?

    3. Ben Tasker

      Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

      > as citizens no longer have to worry about how, when, why, nor even if to begin accepting crypto currencies

      Personally, _if_ I was going to accept crypto I'd probably take an approach a bit like banks do during mortgage (re)valuations when there's a house price spike on.

      Yes, the current "value" is $36K, but by the time I recoup there's a risk it'll be less (because the market's now not so hot), so you can buy with BTC at a rate of 1BTC = 25K.

    4. EricB123 Bronze badge

      Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

      What the Baht are you talking about?

    5. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Just ban all crypto currencies.

      My impression is that cryptocurrency is something for people to gamble on INSTEAD of the stock market. But that stock market trading is, do to speak, rigged by "the house" anyway - or rather, by fancy computer systems which do buying and selling in a tiny fraction of a second, and which make Bitcoin mining look like printing naughty "ASCII art" for money.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Can we do the same here ?

    Please ?

    1. elkster88

      Re: Can we do the same here ?

      I suspect you may have an objection to Monnetising some types of mathematical operations.

  3. katrinab Silver badge

    In what way is Bitcoin a "more legitimate" coin than Dodgecoin or Bananacoin?

    I'm curious, because I see them all as equaly useless.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "In what way is Bitcoin a "more legitimate" coin than Dodgecoin or Bananacoin?"

      Well, it's probably the most massively successful pyramid scheme created so far. A lot of people have "invested" (ho ho) in it and don't want to lose the money they've spent on either buying or creating a string of useless numbers. Unfortunately, at least in finance, it seems that in some cases, people thinking something is legitimate can make it so.

      1. Julz

        I always mentally substitute the word gamble for the word invest. Gives a better sense of what is actually going on.

        As for legitimacy; just look at the madness that is the art world and the sheer idiocy that reigns with anything to do with 'collectors'. Us humans are mad buggers.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      A BBC radio programme last week about what money even is anyway when you get down to it.

      One commentator said that book credit is older than coins, mentioning clay tablets and such with accounting marks representing, and in effect being, the value of goods.

      Another commentator said what makes a currency is value, like gold. That we only ever go off it briefly, and we do, should, and will go back to the "gold standard" soon. Because of the value, which is that you can wear it. It looks pretty. It looks valuable. So it is valuable, or do I mean because it is... it seems circular.

      Of course you also can use gold to make... overpriced cabling.

      1. Schultz

        ...commentator said what makes a currency is value...

        This commentator is wrong.

        A currency serves to facilitate the exchange of goods. It's the goods that have the intrinsic value, not the currency. Otherwise you might as well trade your sheep directly for your neighbor's car, as opposed to going through all those complicated financial transactions.

        It doesn't really matter what currency is made of as long as the amount of forgery and cheating remains low. The rest is a matter of trust: you only accept money if you trust that you can spend it in the future. So the supply of currency needs to be somehow managed -- if there is too little it'll gum up all economic activity and if there is too much it'll erode trust and create inflation. All those bad things also happened in the age of gold currency -- so that was not a great solution.

        It should be obvious is that using stuff with real value as currency is a bad idea. Gold (and silver) is mostly useless, hence its great success as currency. You can cast your bronze into tools or coins, but you can't do both. You can use electricity to create/manage bitcoin or to to perform useful work, but you can't do both. Why not trade in toes? Those are useful, in limited supply, and hard to forge. It might, though, create a bit instable footing for your economy.

        Bitcoin creates an artificial and quite inflexible amount of scarcity: its supply cannot be properly managed. So it is not really great as a currency. On the plus side, you only have to trust those managing the blockchain, those holding your wallet, and the rest of the world keeping the valuation afloat. Or you could trust the federal reserve to manage the dollar -- it's your choice. Both are bound to go south at some point and to some degree. That's why some people keep some savings in stocks and gold and real estate, ... Boring, isn't it?

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      I don't think there's any compelling argument that Bitcoin is "more legitimate" than Dogecoin.

      I suspect what the Thai regulators are doing here is the thin edge of the wedge. They're going to start restricting the wilder end of the cryptocurrency market, which will reduce some of the overall risk to Thai citizens and tamp down some of the enthusiasm. Then gradually they introduce more and more controls as people become less interested. No single step is too bold, so they never elicit too much opposition.

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