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