The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission officially announced the upcoming launch of a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), scheduled to come into effect July 16, 2018. The pro-crypto Southeast Asian nation recently announced the legalization of domestic cryptocurrency markets with two royal decrees earlier this year.
In an announcement published on Wednesday, Thailand’s SEC released information on the new ICO guidelines, which will see the kingdom become one of the first countries worldwide to allow the launch of domestic ICOs in a completely regulated environment.
Thai SEC Moves to Support Domestic ICOs
The Thai SEC’s statement unequivocally outlines the Thai government stance on ICOs, stating that the SEC “supports the issuance and offering of digital tokens via ICO.” The launch and operation of initial coin offerings within Thailand will be governed by the Digital Asset Management Act of BE 2561 from July 16, 2018, and will require prospective ICOs to pass a screening process.
ICOs operating within Thailand must be submitted by a Thai company with a registered capital of no less than 5 million Baht ($150,000 USD) and will be screened by an SEC ICO portal to evaluate the business plan and distribution structure of tokens. Interestingly, the SEC’s ICO portal will also audit project code repositories.
The Thai ICO legalization framework also takes institutional and venture capital participation in the initial coin offering ecosystem into account, limiting the total amount sold to retail investors to 4 times that of shareholders’ equity or not more than 70% of the total offering value.
While ICOs will be legal in Thailand under the Digital Asset Management Act, organizations operating ICOs will be limited in the remittance methods used to sell tokens during crowd sales. ICO issuers are able to receive only Thai baht, Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, XRP, or Stellar Lumens.
Securities and Exchange Commission Secretary-General Rapee Sucharitakul commented on the new regulatory framework, highlighting the importance of investor due diligence when investing in ICOs:
“The SEC’s criteria will help set the standard for ICOs and enhance the screening process in order to protect investors from being deceived. SEC licensing for digital token offerings, however, does not guarantee the success of a fundraising project … investors should study the information thoroughly and in order to be sure they can accept the risk involved before investing.”
The Thai government holds a progressive stance toward cryptocurrency regulation, making the country fertile ground for promising blockchain ventures — notably, Bangkok-based OmiseGO, which is currently the 20th most successful blockchain venture by market cap.
Cover Photo by Geoff Greenwood on Unsplash