The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand has approved the country’s first initial coin offering (ICO) portal and is likely to tackle the approval of securities tokens offerings (STO) soon, according to a local daily news outlet Bangkok Post.
While the Thai SEC has approved the ICO portal, it has yet to officially launch because it is awaiting final approval from other government agencies like the Commerce Ministry. However, the ICO portal will reportedly be approved by these agencies soon and launch in the near future.
Thailand’s ICO Portal
Thailand’s impending ICO portal will allow authorities to properly screen ICOs, conduct due diligence, prove smart contract source codes, and conduct know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. Per the report, the operator of the ICO portal is a foreign company which has yet to be named.
Providing input on Thailand’s regulatory environment and the approval of Thailand’s ICO portal was Archari Suppiroj, director of the fintech department at the SEC.
According to Suppiroj, the ICO market has matured since 2017 and is beginning to graduate from intangible project ideas to ICOs that are physically backed by assets such as real estate. She then stated that it’s important for ICO investors to understand the key elements of what they’re investing in.
With the SEC-approved ICO portal, Suppiroj hopes to provide investors with the knowledge of what they’re investing in, including the rights of an asset as well as the risks and limitations.
Moreover, last December the Thai SEC announced plans to loosen the rules for barriers of entry to ICOs. As stated by Tipsuda Thavaramara, the General Secretary of the Thai SEC:
“The proposed guideline is an attempt to find greater equilibrium in the regulatory process and reduce regulatory impediments while taking risk management and investor protection into account.”
Will STOs Be Approved Next?
Apart from the approval of an ICO portal, Suppiroj noted that the launching of an STO will still be strictly prohibited, as securities-related transactions fall under different laws.
She then stated that those interested in the digitization of asset types such as securities, and who would like to launch an STO, will need to apply for a license approved by the Securities and Exchange Act.
However, she also noted that the process for launching an STO may soon become a lot easier in Thailand:
“In the future, the [Thai] SEC will issue a criterion that allows companies to apply tokenization to securities and other assets. This will help bridge the digital asset royal decree and securities… The next step is for an issuer to offer security tokens in the primary market.”
Therefore, it appears Thailand is on its way to becoming a leading destination for innovative cryptocurrency companies, as they have a favorable regulatory environment that appears to foster innovation.
Do you think the ICO market will ever be as big or even bigger than it was in 2017? Will STOs be more popular than ICOs in 2019 and beyond? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.