Thailand looks to amend crypto rules to facilitate growth

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s financial regulator, plans to amend cryptocurrency rules to boost the growth of digital assets.

"The regulator must be flexible to apply the rules and regulations in line with the market environment," Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, secretary-general of the SEC, told Bangkok Post on Monday, adding that Thailand aims to be “competitive” with the global market.

Thailand initially adopted cryptocurrency rules in May 2018 via a royal decree, but the country hasn’t seen many companies coming forward to get authorized and launch their operations yet.

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The decree covers four types of cryptocurrency businesses - exchanges, brokers, dealers and initial coin offering (ICO) or token portals. The first three are required to apply for licenses from the Finance Ministry, while ICO portals must be approved by the SEC.

To date, five companies have been awarded digital asset exchange licenses - Bitkub Online, Satang Pro Corporation (both are operating), Bitcoin Co (decided to shut down in August), and Huobi Thailand (yet to start operations).

For digital asset brokers, Coin TH, and Bitazza have been authorized, but the latter two are yet to commercially launch their services. While the approved ICO portals are Longroot Thailand, T-BOX Thailand Co and SE Digital Company.

Ruenvadee said since many firms have yet to begin operations, “we need to explore any possible obstacles” to the decree and overcome them.