Crypto investors oppose price controls Penalties urged for manipulators

Crypto investors oppose price controls  Penalties urged for manipulators

Representations of cryptocurrencies Bitcoin, Ethereum, DogeCoin, Ripple and Litecoin are placed on a PC motherboard in this illustration. REUTERS

The crypto community disagrees with the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) proposed adoption of price ceiling and floor rules to curb price volatility because it is against a price mechanism, but says it supports the regulator's enforcement of punishment for price manipulators.

The community also agrees local digital asset exchanges should take timely warning measures and implement market surveillance of cryptocurrency manipulation, said Suppakrit Boonsat, president of the Thai Digital Asset Association.

The sharp rise and fall of three Thai cryptocurrencies — Bitkub Coin (KUB), JFIN Coin (JFIN) and SIX Coin (SIX) — on Nov 30 caused serious damage to inexperienced investors.

KUB peaked at 500 baht per coin before falling about 60-70% to 150 baht on Nov 30 at around 8-9am, while JFIN ascended to a high of 248 baht before dropping 60-70% to around 19 baht about the same time.

The community speculated a group of people may have manipulated the coins’ prices to rise, propelling investors with fear of missing out to buy, before “smashing” the price down in a technique known as “pump and dump”, causing severe losses for inexperienced traders.

Mr Suppakrit said to prevent price manipulation, coin issuers should list their coins in multiple exchanges to provide higher liquidity and chances for arbitrage, making it more difficult for price manipulators to pump and dump. He said this event was a good lesson for new traders to be more cautious and diversify their investment.

“We don’t think a price ceiling and floor will be imposed because we don’t want to disrupt the market mechanism, but we want the SEC to punish those involved in price manipulation,” said Mr Suppakrit.

He said digital exchanges should be able to identify manipulators and bring evidence to the SEC, alerting investors and making digital investments more fair and sustainable.

Sanjay Popli, co-founder of Cryptomind, agreed coin issuers should list coins on several exchange to increase trading liquidity. Digital exchanges must have an in-house market surveillance system to detect any manipulation, Mr Sanjay said.

A source from Bitkub who requested anonymity said the exchange will introduce a system to alert investors when crypto prices change by more than 30% over a 24-hour period, using the P30 symbol. The source said the company is aware of the risks to investors and there will be supervision to ensure trading conditions on the platform are fair and orderly.

“The company already has a market surveillance team,” the source said.

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