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.
This announcement follows the two royal decrees which were published on May 14, addressing all crypto-related issues and giving the Thai SEC the responsibility of regulating the crypto space in the country.
According to a local news outlet, the new policies which have gone through several channels of public hearings were approved during the meeting held on June 7 and are set to roll into effect this month.
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.
The regulations cover cryptocurrency exchanges, ICOs, dealers, brokers, and other crypto related firms enlisted by the Finance Ministry. These participants must receive approval to conduct crypto business from the Finance Ministry and must also register with the SEC within 90 days of the effective date.
The Thai SEC expects ten different firms to apply for licenses with about five being crypto exchanges and the others dealers and brokers in the crypto market. The licence application window will be open until August 14.
According to the announcement, only a limited number of cryptos will be allowed as trading pairs for initial coin offerings (ICOs).
“The SEC will allow seven cryptocurrencies, used for initial coin offerings (ICOs), to be traded as trading pairs. They are bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, and stellar,” SEC deputy secretary-general, Tipsuda Thavaramara said.
The seven crypto were approved as trading pairs because they do not promote transaction privacy in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
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.
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