The Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to approve five initial coin offerings (ICOs). This move comes after the recent announcement of a new ICO regulatory paradigm in the country. The latest cryptocurrency laws will take effect later in June.
Five out of Fifty
According to the Thai SEC, about 50 projects applied for approval to conduct a fundraising campaign from the country’s capital market. Out of these 50 applications, five are expected to be given the green light once the new laws take effect. Commenting on the decision, the director of Thai SEC equity department’s corporate finance, Thawatchai Kiatkwankul, said that the five chosen projects are ready as initial pilot projects.
Thawatchai declined to identify the chosen projects, but he did offer clues as to how the SEC judges the merit of ICO projects, saying:
Projects which can be [easily vetted] and have commercial attributes attached to them will be considered for fund-raising.
If these five projects manage to gain approval from the Thai SEC, then Thailand will become one of the few nations to permit ICOs in a state-regulated environment. Other countries like South Korea, Russia, and Bermuda are attempting to create their own ICO regulations. In the meantime, countries like Switzerland and Singapore continue to experience an influx of cryptocurrency blockchain-technology based startups due to their ICO-friendly nature.
ICOs continue to be an integral part of the blockchain industry. It is the preferred fundraising method for many startups in the market. With its popularity has come concerns over fraudulent projects as well as talk that ICO tokens are, in fact, securities.
Thai SEC Cryptocurrency Regulations
On June 8, 2018, Thailand’s SEC announced new cryptocurrency regulations for ICOs, approved digital currency trading pairs, as well as licensing fees for market operators. This new crypto legal framework followed the May declaration which initially banned ICOs while waving taxes on cryptocurrency transactions.
The ICO regulations mandated all ICO portals to oversee their coin offerings for at least a year. ICO projects must also have a minimum base capital of 5 million baht which is approximately $157,000. The new ICO regulations place no investment restrictions for high-net-worth investors, but retail investors cannot invest more than 300,000 baht ($9,400).
The new regulations also approved seven cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Stellar, and Ethereum Classic. These cryptos are the legally recognized trading pairs in the country. They were chosen for their liquidity and credibility. In addition to the seven approved cryptocurrencies, the SEC is set to give operating licenses to ten exchange and broker-dealer platforms. Others have until August 14, 2018 to apply for a license.
The new regulatory paradigm contains a comprehensive breakdown of the fees to be paid by all market operators. This includes the fees for cryptocurrency exchange plaforms as well as brokers.
Do you think the Thai SEC will approve more ICOs? Will the new ICO regulatory paradigm in Thailand attract more cryptocurrency and blockchain startups to the country? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.