After having the new regulatory measures in effect on July 16th, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand has seen a surge in the number of applications for licensing for ICO projects. This increased interest which is likely to rise even more, towards crypto related projects was reported by the Bangkok Post.
Thailand has been very motivated in embracing the crypto technology. Last month, the Finance Ministry of Thailand announced the approval of digital asset licencing; this took effect on the 16th of July, 2018.
Since then, about 50 Initial Coin Offering (ICO) projects have shown interest in applying for licences. These 50 ICOs are interested in raising funds from the public; however the Secretary General of SEC, Rapee Sucharitakul says it is difficult to say whether all of these ICOs will get the license.
A total of five ICO portals are interested in applying for authorized licences, from which three have already submitted their applications to the SEC. In addition, 20 companies have applied for licenses to operate as digital asset exchanges, a business that allows customers to trade cryptocurrencies or digital currencies for other assets.
According to Rapee Sucharitakul, “the license approvals are being processed.” He has also said:
Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active.
On first applying for the license approval, the market regulator forwards the documents to Finance Ministry in a period of about 90 days. The Finance Ministry then takes around 60 days to give its approval, making the entire procedure of getting the license of about 5 months.
The Regulatory Measures
On July 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand announced that a new regulatory framework will be followed in issuing licences to ICO by July 16. This included the sale of digital tokens by ICOs and the formation an ICO portal.
The ICO portal
According to the new framework, an ICO portal would be formed whose basic function would be screening the parties who wish to issue an ICO. Once the party has been approved by the ICO portal, only then the SEC would consider the issuance of the ICO. In the announcement by the SEC, the conditions for a company to apply for an ICO were briefly given. These are given below:
“The applicant for ICO portal must be a Thai company. Having a registered capital of not less than 5 million baht, the management structure of the work system as well as appropriate personnel to operate the business. They are ready to screen the fundraiser. Evaluate the business plan and distribution structure of the digital tokens. Check the computer code set for use in the IO process (source code) to match the information disclosed. Get to know the identity and status of the investor. It also assesses the ability of investors to take risks.”
“Those wishing to issue an ICO must be a company incorporated under Thai law, that has a clear business plan and licensing requirements. Source code disclosure Data Entry Form Draft prospectus Each IPO issuance can be offered to institutional investors. Ultra high net worth investors, venture capital, venture capital, private equity, In addition, the total amount sold to retail investors must not exceed 4 times of the shareholders’ equity. Or not more than 70% of the total offering value. The ICO issuers can receive a digital token in Thai currency, or BitTorrent, such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar.”
The directors, executives and company shareholders should also have the SEC approval. The details of the new Thai regulatory procedures can be viewed here.
However, Rapee Sucharitakul says that the most difficult task for ICOs is writing the whitepaper. As a requirement, a whitepaper should cover the details of the ICO investment project. It should also include the product description, digital token distribution and the details of how the funds would be used for Thai and foreign investors.
Thailand’s securities firms are also interested in launching a joint cryptocurrency exchange after applying with the SEC. This shows the vigor with which Thailand is adopting the crypto sector. The motivation is however, shared by its neighbors as well. Philippines central bank approved the accreditation of two new cryptocurrency exchanges while the country has also issued 25 crypto exchange licenses as well.