The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced approval of the first seven cryptocurrency exchanges that will operate under its new regulatory framework.
Those now legally authorised to operate in Thailand are Bitcoin Co. (BX), Bitkub Online Co., Cash2coins Co., Group Co. (TDAX), and Coin Asset Co. The other two licences are for cryptocurrency dealers Coins TH Co. and Digital Coin Co. (ThaiWM).
The approvals come just over a couple of months after the SEC put in place the first set of crypto regulations. The second phase of rules was implemented on 16th July and on 24th July the SEC began accepting applications for licences.
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The move to turn Thailand into a crypto-friendly country allows for cryptocurrency exchanges to continue to operate as long as they submit a license application within 90 days after 14th May, the SEC says.
“In addition, the SEC is currently reviewing the data of two other digital asset operators that have applied the Transitional Provisions,” the regulatory body says in a statement.
To date, according to the SEC, a total of 20 crypto exchanges have applied for a licence to operate in the country, and some 50 ICO projects have plans to launch. “About 50 projects have shown interest in issuing tokens. Five companies are interested in becoming ICO portals, three of which have already applied,” the SEC says.
As for crypto exchanges, 13 more licence applications are under review, Thai SEC Secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul said recently.
The application process
The SEC receives all applications, and within 90 days it forwards them to the Finance Ministry, which in turn has 60 days to make its decision.
Companies that file applications must be listed in Thailand and have the required paid-up capital, which is the amount of funds a firm has received from shareholders in exchange for shares of stock sold directly in the primary market.
“I believe that investors will invest in digital assets instead of stocks in the future,” says Jibex crypto exchange CEO Thuntee Sukchotrat. “The investment ratio of ICOs to stocks will be on par within two years.”
Coin Asset is among those now legal to operate in the country. CEO Suvanus Yamdee says the company began operations just over six months ago and already has about 10,000 users. He adds that his exchange’s trading volume is approximately $90,000. He claims that the ATM his firm has developed is the first of its kind because it allows users to make transactions from $3.
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The machine supports the local currency baht as well as euros, yuan and US dollars. Users can buy and sell Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and DASH. If approved, the team plans to install the ATMs at Thailand’s major international airports located in Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang and Chiang Mai.