Thailand’s SEC Gives Green Light to Country’s First ICO Portal

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has approved the first portal for scrutinized initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country.

The Bangkok Post reported March 13 that the decision was carried out by the SEC’s board of directors and is now waiting for approval from other government offices like Ministry of Commerce, according to Archari Suppiroj, the agency’s director of fintech.

The portal is being created in order to protect investors by carefully examining ICOs and reviewing their smart contracts, along with fighting financial crimes by guaranteeing sound know-your-customer processes.

Furthermore, Suppiroj told the Post that a foreign firm had been approved to operate the portal after declining around seven or eight local firms.

The first ICO to be released through the portal will be offered publicly in the “near future” under the royal decree on digital asset businesses, according to Suppiroj. She added that sales of security tokens (STOs) would be separately regulated in compliance with the Securities and Exchange Act and holders are required to secure a license.

The SEC, however, is also considering issuing regulations that would enable firms to tokenize securities and other assets.

Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly ratified an amendment last month to the Securities and Exchange Act authorizing the issuance of tokenized securities like bonds and stocks from entities aside from the Thailand Securities Depository.

“The next step is for an issuer to offer security tokens in the primary market,” Suppiroj said.

Last month, the SEC prohibited several cryptocurrencies to be used for ICO investments and as a base in trading pairs.

In July 2018, the commission had stated that only the national currency, the baht, along with seven cryptocurrencies could be used to invest in ICOs, namely bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH), ether classic (ETC), XRP, litecoin (LTC), and stellar (XLM).

The new ruling removed ether classic, bitcoin classic, and litecoin from the list. The commission, however, did not specify clear reasons why the decision was made.