“Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)”- the country’s capital market authority, has announced a regulatory framework for ICOs which will take effect on July 16. Thailand’s financial market regulator has made a new licensing rule to govern ICO in the country.
The new rule will be passed later this month, making Thailand one of the first countries to allow ICOs in a regulated environment. This is a result of the public hearings and legislative debates concerning how to regulate cryptocurrency and ICOs in the country. On the matter, a royal decree was initially announced back in May.
Under the new guidelines; Individual ICO projects must also have a legal business registration in Thailand. While ICOs can be proposed to retail and institutional investors also the high net worth individuals; hence the law also puts a 300,000 baht (or $9,000) hard cap on contributions by individual retail investors for every project.
The SEC said that it is mandatory for ICO issuers to have a company registered in Thailand approved by the SEC with a base registered capital of 5 million baht (approx. $150,000). ICO portals must have adequate resources to evaluate an ICO issuer’s project. Including structure, business plan, technical capacity, and source code, etc.
It also mentioned that if any entity wishes to conduct an ICO must file an application for approval with the regulator prior to starting a token sale. Instead of directly screening apps from individual ICO projects, the SEC will initially evaluate filings submitted by “ICO portals”.
Note: ICO portal is an online marketplace where potential ICO organizers can operate their token sales
The approved ICO portals will be liable for screening ICO projects, after which the projects that ICO portals select. Later, it will then be accessed by the SEC for a final decision.
Notably, ICO issuers can only receive payments in seven chosen cryptocurrencies. They include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Ripple, Stellar and Litecoin. Issuers are allowed to accept fiat investments in Thai Baht.
Stepping back, the regulator also shared a word of caution with the public in the announcement. Mr. Rapee Sucharitakul, the SEC’s Secretary General, said;
“Despite the regulatory framework’s standardization of ICOs and enhancement of investors’ protection against fraud. It is an approve sale of digital tokens does not guarantee the success, price or return from fund-raising projects. Investors can still experience losses or limited choice in token swaps, so investors should study information thoroughly and accept investment risks before making an investment”.
The newly approved guidelines are part of a huge embracive approach by Thai authorities who started the legislative process to regulate the domestic ICO and cryptocurrency markets this year with two royal decrees.
Thailand’s finance ministry defined its offered taxation rates for cryptocurrency investments and trading with a flat 15% withholding tax on gains. Back in May, Thailand’s tax authority waived a 7% value-added tax (VAT) to bring some ease for retail crypto investors.
The SEC is expecting up to 50 ICO project applications working approval and is reportedly indulging 5 ICO projects initially.