Category Archives: Thailand SEC

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Thailand SEC Approves First ICO Portal

Thailand SEC Approves First ICO Portal

The first initial coin offering (ICO) portal in Thailand has been approved by the country’s securities regulator, the Bangkok Post reported.

According to the report, the first ICO portal that allows confirming smart contract source codes, screening ICOs, conducting Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures and performing due diligence was authorized the by board of directors of Thai Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC). A foreign entity will operate the ICO portal.

The director of fintech department at the SEC, Archari Suppiroj, announced the development stating that ICO portal has been finalized for approval with concerned government agencies like the Commerce Ministry. Under the digital asset royal decree, first ICO deal will be available for the public offering in the near future.

Suppiroj maintained that the ICO market has now evolved from intangible ideas and projects to the ICOs supported by physical assets. In future, criteria for allowing companies to tokenize securities and other assets will be issued by the SEC.

The Thai SEC’s initial plan was to launch a fully operational ICO portal by November 2018. It was expecting to approve each ICO offering by December 2018.

Last year, it declared that it was planning to consider certain exemptions for ICOs. However, caps on participation will still be enforced. At that time, the general secretary of the Thai SEC, Tipsuda Thavaramara, stated that proposed guidelines were aiming at finding a balance in reduced regulatory impediments and regulatory process, taking into account investor protection and risk management.

 

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Thai Crypto Regulation Makes Progress as 4 Crypto Businesses Get Licenses

Thai Crypto Regulation Makes Progress as 4 Crypto Businesses Get Licenses

The SEC in Thailand announced that the Ministry of Finance has granted licenses to four crypto businesses out of seven applications under review to operate in the country under the Emergency Degree on Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 (2018).

Prior to this development, the seven crypto-related businesses were granted provisional rights to operate under the Emergency Decree on Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 (2018), while their license applications were being reviewed.

Per the announcement, three of the crypto ventures that were granted the license were exchanges while the fourth is a digital asset broker. The four are Bitcoin Exchange Co Ltd, Bitkub Online Co Ltd, Satang Corporation and Coins TH Co Ltd.

Two exchange license requests from Cash2coin Co Ltd and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co Ltd were rejected on the grounds of failing to meet the approval criteria with respect to important work systems. These included “systems for custody of client assets and Know Your Customer (KYC) were inconsistent with the SEC’s acceptable standards, while the sufficiency of their IT security and cybersecurity systems could not be verified”.

As a result of the rejection, the financial regulator is granting Cash2coin and SEADEX a deadline of 14 January 2019 to cease all business operations which was previously accorded under temporal arrangements according to the transitional provisions of the Emergency Decree. The SEC, however, mentioned that the rejected applicants can still apply in the future provided they meet the criteria for the application.

One more application from Coin Asset Co Ltd is still under review by the board due to organizational changes in its executive board. However, the SEC noted that the business may proceed with its normal business operation.

Asia as a whole has a rather unequivocal voice when it comes to the stance on crypto. While some are making efforts to accommodate the emerging technology and seeking for a compromise, others are clamping down hard on the industry.

Thailand’s crypto industry frequented the news in 2018; highlights included stern regulations which came down hard on operators and promoters in the country. Recently, it has been found to incline towards the advancement of the industry with a more considerate regulatory framework.

Last year, Thai finance minister Apisak Tantivorawong said the new law was “necessary to comprehensively regulate cryptocurrencies and digital tokens to prevent money laundering, tax avoidance and crime”.

Moreover, over 50 ICO projects and 20 cryptocurrency exchanges had filed for a license to operate their businesses in the region in August 2018, which in turn was indicative of the high interest in digital assets. The Thai SEC secretary general said that “digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active”.

The country has also indicated an interest in applying blockchain technology to its economy. The Director General of Thailand’s Revenue Department Ekniti Nitithanprapas has said that blockchain and machine learning will be utilized in tax avoidance probes.

 

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Thai SEC Issues Warning on Q Exchange

Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a warning to residents about Q Exchange stating that it is not “a licensed digital asset operator”.

The SEC had said that Q Exchange offered electronic money advisory and cryptocurrency trading, through print media outlet and also by using social media and other forms of online media to facilitate publicity of their services.

It was pointed out that the company had scarce online data, providing only an index page of the website, with no information about the exchange nor the services being provided.

As reported by Thai local news media lokwannee, Q Exchange offers digital asset trading services in BTC, ETH, BCH, XRP, LTC, NEO, OmiseGo, DASH, and ADA. It had plans to introduce its platform token, Q token.

The exchange may have targeted the Thailand market as blockchain business is taking a critical turn there both in terms of development and regulation. Chamnarn Suk, General Manager of Q Exchange Co Ltd, during the launch of the exchange had this to say:

“We are a joint venture with a major Korean company. The best management system in the industry… We intend to be the largest provider of currency exchange and services in Thailand, where we will educate…”

However, the Thai regulator has warned citizens that if investors, traders or holders of digital assets are “persuaded to receive digital asset exchange services or electronic money transactions”, they are at risk, as they are “not protected by the law under the supervision of the SEC”.

This public notice has also been followed up with a cease and desist order, whereby the SEC has expressly informed the Q Exchange management to cease its enticements for public investment and instructed the company to take precautions against violations of the Digital Asset royal decree of 2018.

On the subject of regulation, the country’s deputy prime minister, Wissanu Kreangam, is a strong voice for the intensifying of digital currency control measures, stating their vulnerability to being used for criminal activities such as money laundering and funding terrorism.

 

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Crypto Businesses Get Go-Ahead to Operate in Thailand

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has licensed several cryptocurrency-related businesses to operate, including cryptocurrency exchanges.

Magnificent Seven

In an official statement, the SEC wrote that the five approved exchanges are Bitcoin Co Ltd (BX), Bitkub Online Co Ltd, Cash2coins Co Ltd, Satang Corporation (Tdax) and Coin Asset. The two approved cryptocurrency dealers are Coins TH Co Ltd and Digital Coin Limited (Thai WM).

SEC approvals are temporary at present and they will be operating in what appears to be a probationary period, as it is still possible that regulators could reject their applications completely.

According to the statement, “In addition, the SEC is currently reviewing the data of two other digital asset operators that have filed an application under the Transitional Provisions”.

The transitional rules were put into effect by royal decree in mid-May; this began a 90-day period in which required sellers and operators to register their assets within that time.

Government entities in Thailand have been seeking to regulate the industry due to the number of legitimate risks associated with the market. The government logically pursued appropriate regulations to decrease the chances of an unstable economy and criminal activity.

This is a large step for Thailand, who over the past couple of months had begun the process of introducing tax laws and regulations for the nascent industry, as well as processing cryptocurrency related business applications.

Timeline

In early May, Thailand began applying taxes to cryptocurrencies. This was a point of contention for Thai blockchain associations; a 15% capital gains and 7% value-added tax rates were levied against cryptocurrency trading and investments, figures which were considered at the time as industry-stifling.

Toward the end of May, the SEC declared it would oversee initial coin offering (ICO) operations and cryptocurrency-related businesses after a focus group hearing. New legislation was to be implemented shortly after, designed to protect investors from fraud and other typical nefarious activities tied to ICOs.

Though this didn’t deter the swathes of ICO projects from applying for operational licenses, in June, it was reported that from an estimated 50 ICO projects that had filed applications, five were “ready as initial pilot projects”, this according to SEC commissioner Thawatchai Kiatkwankil.

Progress came thick and fast when shortly after, the Bank of Thailand allowed for local banks to legally issue digital tokens, provide crypto brokerages services and other crypto-related activities. At present, there are seven legal cryptocurrencies in Thailand, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Stellar and Ripple.

 

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Increasing ICO Interest in Thailand as 50 Apply for Licenses

In Thailand, initial coin offerings (ICOs) may soon be finding their legal footing after approximately 50 ICO projects displayed interest in applying for licenses to operate.

Application progress

According to local media outlet The Bangkok Post, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has seen a growing interest in those wishing to raise funds through the crowdfunding method. Although, according to the SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul, it remains yet to be seen as to how many of those will be given the operating license.

Furthermore, there are roughly twenty other companies who have made applications for the licenses to operate as cryptocurrency exchanges.

He said, “Licence approvals are being processed,” adding, “Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active.”

ICO portal

Before the SEC licenses these projects, “ICO portals” will be the first to be selected. The portals are essentially online ICO marketplaces, offering platforms for ICO issuers to operate their sales. According to Sucharitakul, three out of five companies who are seeking to operate as ICO portals have filed their applications already.

In early May, proposals for cryptocurrency tax and regulations were slowly coming to fruition. This came at a time when many international governments and financial regulators were also beginning to formalize appropriate crypto-laws and legislation.

Chief executive Thuntee Sukchotrat of digital asset exchange JIBEX said, “I believe that investors will invest in digital assets instead of stocks in the future. The performance of ICOs will rise in line with ICO project performance. The investment ratio of ICOs to stocks will be on par within two years.”

Recent months

In late May, the Thai SEC established that it would monitor ICO operations and cryptocurrency related businesses. Furthermore, a regulated SEC ICO Portal was further discussed, which would allow for domestic ICOs to be issued legally.

In June, the SEC made further inroads upon the announcement of its cryptocurrency laws, though there are only seven legal cryptocurrencies, which are Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Stellar, and Ripple.

Shortly after, the SEC took five out of 50 ICO projects and announced they would be running them as pilots. Later on in August, Thailand reaffirmed its crypto-positive stance after the Bank of Thailand made it legal for local banks to issue digital tokens, provide crypto brokerage services, operate crypto-related businesses and invest in cryptocurrencies via subsidiaries.

 

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