Thailand SEC Gives Go-Ahead to Country’s First ICO Portal

Thailand’s crypto community may soon welcome the country’s first initial coin offering (ICO) portal. Local news outlet Bangkok Post reported on Tuesday that the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had recently approved the planned platform.

According to the publication, the platform is now awaiting a green light from other government agencies, including the Commerce Ministry. And while the portal’s launch date remains unknown, Archari Suppiroj, director of the fintech department at the SEC, expects the first ICO deal “in the near future”.

The portal will help screen ICOs, conduct due diligence, prove smart contract source codes and verify the know-your-customer (KYC) process. The platform, however, will not support tokenized securities as such operations fall under a different law and require a license under the Securities and Exchange Act.

“In the future, the SEC will issue a criteria that allows companies to apply tokenisation to securities and other assets,” Suppiroj was quoted as saying. “This will help bridge the digital asset royal decree and securities law,” she added.

Suppiroj further revealed that the operator of the planned ICO portal is a foreign entity, which had been chosen out from around seven other interested companies. The provider’s name has not been disclosed, however.

News of the Thai ICO platform has been circulating since last November when an SEC official was quoted by the Bangkok Post as saying that the regulator will clear “at least one” ICO portal to serve the Thai market as soon as December 2018. This week’s update is the first provided since that announcement and it remains unclear what caused the delay.

Over the past year, Thailand has become more crypto-friendly. While it still has relatively strict regulations when it comes to selling and exchanging digital assets, the country approved ICOs last year and is said to be considering moves to loosen those rules. In January, Thailand’s finance ministry also issueddigital asset licenses to four companies while also rejecting two applications and considering another one.

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