Thailand’s forward-leaning crypto policy has catalyzed rapid blockchain platform development, with the Thai SEC receiving 20 applications for new digital asset exchanges and more than 50 applications for token offerings since launching new regulatory framework in July.
The crypto regulation framework in Thailand, which came into effect July 16, has legalized domestic cryptocurrency markets following two royal decrees issued in May. According to a Finance Ministry announcement, the new crypto ecosystem will allow blockchain startups to launch token offerings and digital asset exchanges, provided they pass the screening process and code auditing.
Thai Regulatory Shift Sparks Crypto Frenzy
Rapee Sucharitakul, Secretary-General of the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, said that the new cryptocurrency regulatory body has received a flood of applications from platforms eager to capitalize on the country’s new pro-crypto stance, according to the Bangkok Post.
Sucharitakul also stated:
“Licence approvals are being processed. Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active.”
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) launched in Thailand, however, can’t offer tokens directly to the public; instead, tokens must be issued via “token portals.” To date, the Thai SEC has received 50 applications from platforms seeking to receive licenses for ICOs, as well as three applications from platforms aiming to launch ICO portals.
To meet approval requirements, ICOs must operate with a Thailand-based business that holds at least 5 million Baht ($150,000 USD) in registered capital. Directors, executives and company shareholders must also possess SEC approval.
According to the Bangkok Post, Thuntee Sukchotrat, CEO of JIBEX, one of Thailand’s regulatory-compliant cryptocurrency exchanges, said that the international ICO market is set to compete directly with traditional equity models in the near future but Thailand must adapt digital asset trade and capital gains tax strategies to ensure healthy investor participation:
“I believe that investors will invest in digital assets instead of stocks in the future. The performance of ICOs will rise in line with ICO project performance. The investment ratio of ICOs to stocks will be on par within two years. Only the details for taxes remain unready.”
In addition to promoting established compliant crypto innovation, the Thai SEC has also provided Coin Asset, a crypto ATM platform, with a temporary license to operate while the regulatory body considers a licensing application that could see the company launch ATMs throughout the region.
Coin Asset’s platform will also aim to provide consumers with the ability to trade Thai Baht, Chinese Yuan, USD or EUR for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, DASH or Monero in denominations as small as 100 Baht ($3 USD). If provided with the aforementioned licensing approval, the Coin Asset ATMs will be available throughout the country’s international airports.
Thailand Cracks Down on Unregulated Operators
Thailand may be opening up the cryptocurrency market to regulated, approved participants but unregulated platforms are currently experiencing heavy pressure from the government.
Local police recently announced the arrest of the primary suspect in a Bitcoin-related scam, which allegedly captured more than 797 million Baht ($24 million USD) from foreign investors after they were promised company dividends for purchasing “Dragon Coin” tokens with Bitcoin. Actor Jiratpisit “Boom” Jaravijit, 27, is also one of seven suspects detained by police following a scam complaint issued by a Finnish investor.
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