The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand made several clarifications on cryptocurrency and blockchain when hosting a focus group meeting on cryptocurrency. Broadcast on 21 May on Facebook Live, the SEC discussed its present and future approaches to crypto-related enterprises and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
Clarity in conversation
As reported by local news outlet Siam Blockchain, the SEC clarified its role as being an overseer to ICO operations as well as cryptocurrency-related business such as exchanges, brokers and traders.
The focus group hearing also shed light on how ICOs should be allowed to raise funds, concluding that ICOs can only accept the national currency, Thai baht, and other digital currencies that are permitted by the SEC, those that “have enough liquidity and are not associated with money laundering”.
Furthermore, the SEC ICO Portal of Thailand will not be able to list international ICOs and nor will it involve itself with the ICOs of stable coins, which the national bank is to regulate. Projects that are operating an ICO must complete applications in 60 days and will be held to stringent Know-your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) standards.
The idea of an “approved ICO portal” came about in mid-May after the SEC held a public hearing for “drafted notifications and criteria” under an emergency decree on digital asset businesses which came into effect on 14 May.
SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul stated: “The legislation also aims to protect investors from risks of fraud and deception by dishonest persons, money laundering and exploitation of digital assets to facilitate illegal financial transactions, while ensuring regulatory clarity to facilitate legitimate uses of digital assets.”
Regardless of the feedback received from the blockchain community, the SEC set the legal conditions for digital tokens to only be offered by a company after a tight application process. While the new frameworks have the consumers best interests at heart, the community fears the move may be restrictive and cause Thailand to become an unattractive space for the industry.
Thai crypto classifications, taxation and regulation
Bitcoin News reported earlier in May that Thailand’s ministry of finance had proposed taxation and regulatory frameworks for cryptocurrencies; a 15% capital gains tax for digital asset operators and 7% VAT charge for all crypto-trades made in the country were considered to be too high for blockchain businesses and traders.
Later on in May, the SEC revealed that ICOs would not be allowed until fresh regulations were finalized in June; the decree required seller and operators to register assets to the SEC within 90 days with hefty fines and jail time for unauthorized transactions.
The recent moves display Thailand actively addressing the regulatory question that many countries are tackling; it is a remarkably positive step that in time could change and shift toward the desirable standards set by countries considered to be more “crypto-friendly”.
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