Of the 50 ICOs in Thailand that are seeking regulatory approval, the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expects to approve five of them by the end of June. According to the Bangkok Post, these approvals should come once the organic law of the digital asset decree is enacted this month, as the direct result of several rounds of public hearings. The royal decree to regulate digital assets took place on May 14, and a 100-section document has been released to categorize cryptocurrencies as digital assets and digital tokens.
According to Thawatchai Kiatkwankul, the director of corporate finance in the equity department of the SEC, the approved ICOs will be able to raise funds from the Thai capital market as part of a pilot program. As data is collected, the next step in Thailand would be to service and approve ICOs and IPOs within the same unit of the SEC. At that time, the SEC would screen for potential scams. When they are identified, the agency expects to work with ICO listings websites and portals to block investing in Thailand.
Thawatchai appears to favor simple projects with commercial attributes that are easy to vet. Assuming that a project would meet these criteria, its likelihood for approval would be good. He would also look to ease the rules and regulations pertaining to cryptocurrency investments and transactions. In his view, people who participate in the digital asset market tend to be educated on the industry.
Other changes will be made regarding the buying, selling and trading of digital assets in Thailand. As part of this initiative, the SEC will allow seven cryptocurrencies to be used to purchase ICOs. These include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and Stellar (XLM). With this good news, we’d recommend keeping an eye on these particular coins as trading volume in the Thai market may increase.
According to the decree, all market participants must register with the Thai SEC within 90 days of the effective date. These include ICO issuers, digital exchanges, brokers and dealers. In addition, they must receive the Finance Ministry’s formal approval to conduct business in this area.
The SEC in Thailand has also placed limits on ICO investments. Institutional investors, and ultra-high-net-worth investors (similar to “accredited investors” in the US), may invest at an unlimited amount. However, retail investors are capped at 300,000 baht ($9,315 USD) and may not comprise more than 70% of the total value of the offered tokens. By comparison, the US bars potential retail investors from making any sort of investment into ICOs. Individuals must meet the requirements for accredited investors in the US to participate in the market, meaning an individual annual income of $200,000, or a joint income of $300,000, or a $1 million net worth.
With the enactment of this decree, and the approval of these five ICOs, Thailand will become one of the first nations to allow ICOs to proceed within a regulated framework, with Bermuda and Russia on track for similar rules to take effect soon.