Thailand Sees Booming Cryptocurrency Industry As New Law Comes Into Effect

The cryptocurrency industry in Thailand is booming with about 50 initial coin offerings (ICOs) and 20 exchanges showing interest in applying for a digital asset license, according to Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“License approvals are being processed”, SEC secretary general Rapee Sucharitakul told the Bangkok Post. “Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active.”

The 50 token issuers and ICO organizers are looking to raise money from the public but it remains uncertain whether all of them will be granted an operating license, he said, noting that the most difficult tasks for them was creating a whitepaper that covers details of an ICO campaign including product description, token distribution, and how the fund raised will be used for both Thai and foreign investors.

Requirements for those seeking a license to operate a digital asset business include being a company or listed firm with business operations based in Thailand, having paid-up registered capital as stipulated, and having a well-prepared work system and sound financial status. Companies’ directors, executives and shareholders must also have SEC approval.

In May, Thailand put a new law in place to control and regulate cryptocurrency transactions and ICOs. The country enacted a royal decree stipulating that cryptocurrencies and digital tokens are digital assets. Thailand’s SEC is responsible of overseeing and regulating all cryptocurrency transactions and verifying the identity of clients.

Finance minister Apisak Tantivorawong said in March that the law was necessary to comprehensively regulate cryptocurrency and digital tokens to prevent money laundering, tax evasion and fraud.

Finance permanent secretary Sujjapongse Somchai noted the new regulation was not meant to promote cryptocurrencies but rather support blockchain technology.

The Association of Securities Companies (ASCO), the collective body representing the country’s securities firms, is reportedly planning to jointly launch a new cryptocurrency exchange.

The ASCO’s chairwoman Pattera Dilokrungthirapop told the Bangkok Post that “many member securities firms” have expressed an interest in entering the cryptocurrency space to operate “ICO portals and cryptocurrency exchanges as well as becoming brokers and dealers in digital asset trade.”

“We are confident that investors will prefer trading with us, since we have been in the securities trading business for a long time”, she said. “Investors can trust our trading system, which has secured asset preservation.”

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