Thailand has been growing the number of licensed cryptocurrency service providers. The Thai regulators have now approved 13 crypto businesses to legally operate in the country, including cryptocurrency exchanges, brokers, and dealers.
The Royal Decree on the Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 regulates the crypto sector in Thailand. It categorizes digital asset businesses into three types: “digital asset exchange,” “digital asset broker,” and “digital asset dealer.”
The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved six digital asset exchanges so far. They are Bitkub, BX, Satang Pro, Huobi Thailand, ERX, and Zipmex. The newest approved exchange was ERX.
The Royal Decree also distinguishes between cryptocurrency and digital token. Cryptocurrencies are “created for the purpose of being a medium of exchange for the acquisition of goods, services, or other rights,” the SEC detailed. Meanwhile, digital tokens are created “for the purpose of specifying the right of a person to participate in an investment in any project or business, or to acquire specific goods, services, or other rights under an agreement between the issuer and the holder.”
All six licensed digital asset exchanges are approved for both cryptocurrencies and digital tokens, except for ERX which is only approved for the latter. BX, aka Bitcoin Co. Ltd., halted trading on Sept. 30 last year and is “currently in the process of returning licenses,” the SEC’s website shows.
Three digital asset brokers — Coins TH, Bitazza, and Kulap — have been approved. However, Kulap is not yet operational. There is only one licensed crypto dealer in the country: Coins TH.
In addition, Thailand is regulating initial coin offerings (ICO) via licensed “ICO portals.” The Royal Decree defines an ICO portal as “a provider of an electronic system for facilitating the offering of newly issued digital tokens.” Its “duties include performing due diligence on the characteristics of digital tokens to be offered and qualifications of issuer, and ensuring completeness and accuracy of information contained in the registration statements, draft prospectus or any other information to be disclosed through the portal.”
Four ICO portals — Longroot, T-box, SE Digital, and Bitherb — have been licensed. Bitherb, a joint venture between Japanese crypto exchange Bitpoint Japan and Asia Herb Association Bangkok Co. Ltd., is the only ICO portal that is not yet operational.
Crypto exchanges, brokers, dealers, and ICO portals are all considered financial institutions under the Thai Anti-Money Laundering Act. “Those who intend to operate a digital asset business shall be approved by the Minister of Finance upon recommendation of the SEC,” the Thai securities regulator emphasized.
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