The Ministry of Finance in Thailand has approved the digital asset business licenses of four cryptocurrency exchanges. This paves the way to the legitimate operations of the four platforms in the country.
On January 8, the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that the ministry of finance chose to grant digital asset business licenses to Bitkhun Online Co. Ltd. (BITKUB), Bitcoin Company Ltd. (BX), Coins TH Co., and Satang Corporation Limited (Satang Pro). The ministry’s approval was based upon SEC’s recommendation. On the other hand, the applications of South East Asia Digital Exchange Ltd. (SEADEX) and Cash2 Coin Co. Ltd. (Cash2coin) were not approved because of weak know-your-customer protections and other security concerns. The application of Coin Asset Ltd. (Coin Asset), however, is still under review.
SEADEX and Cash2Coin, the two exchanges that were denied a license, can operate until January 14 “under transitional provision” to allow their clients to withdraw assets and make necessary transactions before the exchanges shut down business. The exchanges are allowed to apply after the aforementioned concerns are addressed. Meanwhile, Coin Asset will also be allowed to operate under the same provision, until a decision about its application is out.
The process of obtaining a business license in Thailand is long and winding. In February 2018, the central bank of Thailand imposed a ban on any transactions relating to cryptocurrencies. SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul, on the following month, announced that his office would begin implementing rules and regulations relating to the use of cryptocurrencies to protect investors.
“The regulatory framework will cover cryptocurrencies in several areas, including investor protections and how cryptocurrencies have sometimes been used as a medium for money-laundering, tax avoidance and Ponzi schemes,” the secretary-general mentioned at that time.