The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand announced new cryptocurrency laws on 8 June 2018. This can be viewed as a positive step to legalize cryptocurrencies in the Southeast Asian nation, in contrast to other countries such as nearby China which has banned cryptocurrency trading activity.
These rules issued by the SEC come just a month after Thailand’s government decided that cryptocurrencies are digital assets and they must be regulated, and they decided that the SEC would be in charge of cryptocurrency.
Seven cryptocurrencies have been deemed legal for trading on cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Stellar, and Ripple. These cryptocurrencies were chosen because of their reputation, relative security, and market liquidity.
This, unfortunately, means that all other cryptocurrencies won’t be legal on Thailand cryptocurrency exchanges, severely limiting the spectrum of choices for Thailand investors and making it very difficult for new cryptocurrencies to gain a foothold in Thailand in the future.
Cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms that want to operate in Thailand will have to get a license through the SEC; the SEC says it expects 10 exchanges to apply and the registration fee will be 5 million THB (156,000 USD). Exchanges will have to keep 50 million THB of reserves to operate legally. Exchanges will have to pay an annual tax of 0.002% of their trading volume, with a minimum tax of 500,000 THB.
Cryptocurrency brokerage firms will have to pay 2.5 million THB for a license, and cryptocurrency dealers will have to pay 2 million THB. This will make it illegal for average citizens to deal cryptocurrency or offer cryptocurrency investments.
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) are legal under the new SEC regulations, but they must be approved by the SEC before they can get investments from Thailand citizens. ICOs must have reserves of 5 million THB to be approved in order to protect investors. There is an investment limit of 300,000 THB (9,400 USD) per ICO for average investors so that citizens don’t get too much of their money tied up in a risky ICO.
All cryptocurrency exchanges, cryptocurrency dealers, brokerage firms, and ICOs must register within 90 days of the 8 June 2018 announcement or face severe penalties including fines and jail time.
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