The Thai government is concerned with the growing number of companies in Thailand racing to launch their initial coin offerings ahead of regulations. This has prompted the country’s regulators to hurry with the regulatory framework for token sales, ahead of cryptocurrency regulations.
ICOs Growing in Popularity in Thailand
Publicly-listed and private companies in Thailand are hurrying to launch their initial coin offerings (ICOs) ahead of regulations, Thai Rath reported, adding that they “fear the regulators will make it more cumbersome for issuers and investors.”
Recently, J Ventures, a subsidiary of Jay Mart Plc which is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), became the first listed company to hold an ICO. The company sold out its 100 million digital tokens and raised 660 million baht (~USD$21 million).
Project Planning Service Plc (PPS) is listed on the Thai Market for Alternative Investment. The company plans to raise about 500 million baht (~USD$16 million) through an ICO of Profincoin and use the proceeds to expand its factoring business, the Nation reported on Wednesday. PPS stated that it plans to comply with any rules set by the Thai SEC which are expected this month, the news outlet noted and quoted Chonladet Khemarattana, CEO of Fintech (Thailand) Co Ltd, commenting:
Profincoin is an asset-backed token, which may be defined by the [Thai] SEC as being similar to securities.
A Thai fintech startup, Stockradars, has also announced an ICO to build a social trading platform; the pre-sale of 120 million tokens is set to start on March 22, according to Mac Thai.
ICO Regulations Expected Next Week
Thai regulators are concerned that ICOs are increasingly popular, but there is currently no law governing them or cryptocurrency trades in the country, according to local media.
Sakkarin Ruamrangsri, assistant secretary-general of the Thai SEC, said that the Commission’s board of directors “is set to consider the ICO regulatory framework on March 8,” the Bangkok Post wrote. The regulators will discuss proposals for ICO regulations but will not discuss regulations for cryptocurrencies yet, Krungthep Turakij added.
Pornchai Thiraveja, an advisor to the Thai Fiscal Policy Office, said that know your customer (KYC) rules will apply to tokens that are considered securities to protect investors. “Issuers also need to be licensed,” he was quoted by the Bangkok Post.
Rapee Sucharitakul, secretary-general of the Thai SEC, said last week that there will be standards for information disclosure and transaction reporting. The regulatory framework will also include “system security, transaction objectives and utilization of proceeds” from ICOs, the news outlet detailed.
Crypto Regulations in the Pipeline
As for cryptocurrency regulations, Mr. Pornchai said “Trading cryptocurrencies will also have to comply with KYC”
Mr. Rapee added that the working panel for the cryptocurrency regulations “would meet in the next three weeks to consider the current laws are sufficient to regular cryptocurrencies,” the news outlet emphasized. The panel consists of representatives from the country’s central bank, SEC, finance ministry, and the anti-money laundering office. The publication conveyed Mr. Sakkarin’s explanation:
Given that cryptocurrencies are not viewed as securities, they will not be under the SEC’s supervision, but the working panel from the four agencies is still mulling the regulatory framework.
What do you think of Thai ICOs rushing to launch ahead of regulations? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Thai SEC, and Wikipedia.
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Author: Kevin Helms