Thai SEC expands the digital asset industry with amendments to regulations

In Asia, Thailand has the most explicit legislatures to regulate cryptocurrency exchange services. In particular, SEC Thai is planning to expand the digital asset industry with amendments to existing regulations.

Cryptocurrency legislation in Thailand

According to reports from a news outlet in Thailand, to facilitate the development of crypto-assets and protect investors from risks, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission is planning to revise digital asset trading regulations by 2020.

Secretary-general of SEC Thai, Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, stated:

“SEC wishes to study exiting regulations for any stumbling blocks that may hinder digital asset businesses within the kingdom. Laws should not be outdated and should serve market needs. Especially for new digital asset products, and be competitive with the global market. We need to explore any possible obstacles.”

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Image: Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, SEC Secretary-General

In May 2018, the Thai government announced an SEC-supervised digital asset decree, which establishes the requirements necessary for a business to operate in the field of digital assets. With the order issued, Thailand has also set up three types of licenses:

  • The license of digital asset trading platform
  • Digital asset broker license
  • Digital asset agency license

Ms. Ruenvadee adds:

“There have been many applications for ICOs in Thailand, but first they have to meet regulatory approvals.  The legislation also aims to protect investors from risk of fraud and deception by dishonest persons, money laundering and exploitation of digital assets to facilitate illegal financial transactions, while ensuring regulatory clarity to facilitate legitimate uses of digital assets.”

SEC Thai issues digital asset trading licenses to companies

There are already five cryptocurrency companies licensed to exchange cryptocurrency assets. Includes Bitkub Online Co Ltd and Satang Pro Corporation are currently active.

After being licensed, earlier this year, Bitcoin Co unexpectedly closed BX Thailand. At the time, regulators in the military-appointed government were demanding unreasonable amounts of transaction data from the firm and its clients.

That left Bitherb Co Ltd and Huobi Thailand Co Ltd still not in operation. The regulator also authorized official licenses for three cryptocurrency brokers, Coin TH Co Ltd, bitherb.net, and Bitazza Co Ltd.

This move is considered a step forward of Thailand, which is increasingly towards China to guide policy.

Until now, Thailand has not established a clear guide on depository requirements for cryptocurrency businesses. It is currently unknown whether the standards that apply to securities should be used to digital assets, or whether new regulations need to be developed solely for cryptocurrencies.

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