On May 14th , 2018, Thai government expresses itself through a decree published in the Royal Gazette, regarding cryptocurrencies defining them as: “digital assets and digital tokens”.
Together with Thai Security Exchange Commission (SEC), the right balance was found for coexistence of both new technologies and traditional financial market.
SEC corporate finance division director, Thawatchai Kiatkwankul, says that since ICO projects have growth potential, SEC is preparing to expand and combine its unit for ICOs registration with initial public offerings (IPOs), hiring more recruits to meet market demand.
“Projects which can be [easily vetted] and have commercial attributes attached to them will be considered for fund-raising”.
Apisak Tantivorawrong, Minister of Finance in Thailand, declares his position in tune with all Thai SEC’s countries, which support those ICOs that are regulated by decree.
Here, there are some key points mentioned by Bangkok Post:
• All market participants, including ICO issuers, digital exchanges, brokers and dealers involved in digital asset transactions, are required to register with the SEC within 90 days of the effective date.
• Participants must also receive the Finance Ministry’s approval to engage in the digital asset business.
• Each ICO can be offered to institutional and ultra-high-net-worth investors at an unlimited investment, but investment is capped for individual retail investors at 300,000 baht (about $ 9,000) per ICO project, or no more than 70 % of the total value of tokens offered.
• Failure to comply with this carries a penalty of up to twice the value of the unauthorized digital transaction, or at least 500,000 baht (about $ 15,700). Even non-compliant sellers could be sentenced to a term of imprisonment for up to two years.
• Digital asset transactions will be subject to a 15% withholding tax on capital gains, if there is a profit.
At the moment, there are many companies that show interest in applying licenses for digital assets, including ICO issuers, ICO portals (about seven companies) and crypto-exchanges (about 10 companies).
ASCO (Association of Securities Companies) is also considering to establish a joint cryptocurrency Exchange between securities companies and plans to apply for an operating license with the SEC.
The ASCO president, Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, declares as follows:
“We are confident that investors will prefer trading with us, since we have been in the securities trading business for a long time. Investors can trust our trading system, which has secured asset preservation”
Based on a securities business license, securities firms can manage certain digital asset businesses, including becoming digital asset dealers and brokers, as well as managing e-wallets with digital tokens.
Finally, from the end of this July, the SEC is expected to approve 5 ICO out of 50 projects.
In conclusion, after a long debate about the legislative and regulatory recognition of all the digital assets that new technologies have raised on a global level, the Thai regime finally declares itself proactive.
The tune between traditional and digital market, by regulating limits and conditions with the aim of safeguarding the market from possible scams, is actually the Thailand government answer.