P Xenos and M Bacina
Thai SEC to amend royal decree on cryptocurrency
In a recent announcement, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has stated that it is currently studying ways to amend its royal decree on digital assets. The jurisdiction is content on balancing a competitive marketplace in Thailand, with adequate investor protection.
Earlier this year, Thailand launched an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) portal to help companies compliantly issue digital assets. The Thai government provided a regulatory framework — a ‘royal decree’ — to cover exchanges, brokerage firms, dealers, and ICO portals.
The decree provided that all exchanges, brokers, and dealers who wished to operate in the country must be granted a license from the country’s Finance Ministry. In order to participate through the ICO portal, SEC approval was required.
So far, according to data provided by the SEC, five companies have been granted a license to operate a digital asset exchange. Out of the five, two are currently operating, one was voluntarily shut down, and two others have yet to launch.
Three companies have seen approval to operate as a digital asset broker-dealer, while only one is currently operational. When it comes to ICO portal companies, the Thai SEC says it has approved a total of three.
However, in the recent announcement, the Thai SEC stated that it will amend its royal decree in the coming year to facilitate digital asset growth in terms of digital asset use, while continuing to protect investors from any unnecessary risks.
Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, Security General of the Thai SEC, says the regulator is currently searching for any hurdles which prevent the Thai market from competing on a global level. According to Suwanmongkol:
The regulator must be flexible to apply the rules and regulations in line with the market environment. For example, laws should not be outdated and should serve market needs, especially for new digital asset products, and be competitive with the global market.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.
Thailand has been a consistent supporter for cryptographic tokens, and while financial regulators around the globe have taken different stances, Thai regulators have stood out as a proactive body aiming to attract business in the digital asset space. It will be interesting to see what amendments are put in place and what "possible obstacles" the Thai SEC identify.