Thailand SEC Approves 7 Cryptocurrency Exchanges, 2 More Queued Up

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Part of the volatility of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies may be attributed to regulatory concerns in the US and around the world. The SEC in the US is on a path towards clarity, and institutional investors are entering the market. On the other side of the world, Thailand regulators also appear to be making moves that may result in positive sentiment in the market, with their approval of seven cryptocurrency exchanges.

With this move, the seven businesses will be able to engage in the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies in the Thai market. The approved companies include the following digital currency exchanges: Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (BX), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins Co. Ltd., Group Co. Ltd. (TDAX), and Coin Asset Co. Ltd. In addition, the Thailand SEC approved Coins TH Co. Ltd. and Digital Coin Co. Ltd. (ThaiWM) as cryptocurrency dealers.

According to the official statement released by the Thailand SEC, the regulators are also reviewing two additional digital asset operators that have filed applications under the Transitional Provisions. Mr. Rapee Sucharitakul, Secretary General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said (translated), “Those who are interested in investing must be knowledgeable and can take the risk of losing money… Investors should check whether the business is listed with the SEC. Operators who are not on the list and wish to operate a digital asset business can apply for a license to the SEC and you will be able to do business with a license from the Minister of Finance.”

These “transitional” rules came into effect on May 14, when companies were allowed to continue serving customers while awaiting a decision from the Thai SEC.

In addition to the crypto exchanges and dealers, the Thailand SEC has expressed a strong interest in reviewing ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) for regulatory status in the country, following the Finance Ministry’s announcement that it would introduce ICO regulations on August 8. At that time, almost 50 ICOs have communicated an interest in certification. Of these, only five applicants have met the prerequisites for approval.

According to Thai SEC secretary general Rapee Sucharitakul, three ICO portals have applied for licensure, with two more that have expressed an interest, and approximately 20 companies have applied for licenses to become digital asset exchanges. In order to be approved, they must pay a fee and be of “sound financial status.”

Based on the outcomes so far, Thailand continues to be pro-crypto, as they’re approving companies across the spectrum. Local banks in the country are also approved by the Bank of Thailand to create subsidiaries specific to digital asset businesses. These banks may also issue their own crypto assets, plus they may offer cryptocurrency brokerage services and other related businesses.

Secondary markets are also on the rise in Thailand. The Thai Bond Market Association (TBMA) announced a blockchain solution in July, meant to improve the liquidity of a secondary market by cutting the time to issue a bond in half, from 7-15 days down to 3-4 days.

With these new opportunities available in Thailand, we may see some positive changes to the market as a whole. The country has 69 million people, equivalent to over 20% of the US population. In other words, the results could be huge.

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