Though previously hostile to the emerging crypto economy, authorities in Thailand have began to ease back on restrictions. Earlier this week the Bank of Thailand relaxed its regulations over financial institutions dealing in cryptocurrencies, allowing them to trade and hold cryptocurrencies through subsidiaries and to deal with other Thai SEC approved businesses.
However, the situation is still delicate and rather complicated. Last month the Thai Finance Ministry announced that it would allow certain pre-selected companies to conduct ICOs and sell tokens to particular types of investor.
According to an article in the Bangkok Post, the industry is responding positively to this development and around 50 potential ICO projects have approached the Thai SEC to apply for licences. However, as Rapee Sucharitakul, the SEC secretary-general, told the newspaper, it is currently unclear how many of them will be given the go-ahead to proceed with their token sales.
All ICOs must be conducted through specially licensed ICO portals. Of the five potential candidates, three have already applied to the SEC for authorization.
New Thai Crypto-Exchanges
Around 20 companies have contacted regulators in order to be considered as officially-sanctioned crypto-exchanges. Mr Rapee said that, “Licence approvals are being processed,” and that, “any companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active.”
Applications first go to the regulator, who then has 90 days to then pass on all documents to the Finance Ministry. That body will then have 60 days in which to grant approval. All companies hoping to be involved in cryptocurrencies must already be a listed company based in Thailand and have “sound financial status.”
The easing up of regulations is being welcomed in a country witnessing increased enthusiasm for digital assets. Thuntee Sukchotrat, CEO of Thailand-based crypto-exchange JIBEX, said that he believed that “investors will invest in digital assets instead of stocks in the future,” and that “the investment ratio of ICOs to stocks will be on par within two years.”
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