The number of licensed crypto service providers in Thailand is growing. 13 crypto businesses have now been approved to operate by Thai regulators.
Thailand’s cryptocurrency industry is regulated by the Royal Decree on the Digital Asset Businesses BE 2561. With this law, digital asset businesses are classified into three types: brokers, exchanges and dealers.
As of writing, the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved six digital asset exchanges. The list of companies is composed of Bitkub, BX, Satang Pro, Huobi Thailand, Zipmex and ERX.
ERX is the most recent exchange to have received approval from the SEC and is only approved for digital tokens. However, the remaining digital asset exchanges are cleared for both cryptocurrencies and digital tokens.
The Royal Decree also draws a line between cryptocurrencies and digital tokens. According to the law, cryptocurrencies are made to function as a medium of exchange to obtain goods and/or services. On the other hand, digital tokens are made to define the capacity of an individual to be a part of an investment in any project or business.
New approval for brokers
Within the category of digital asset brokers, three new businesses have been approved: Coins TH, Bitazza and Kulap.
Beyond overseeing local crypto businesses, Thailand is also regulating initial coin offering (ICO) portals. According to the Royal Decree, ICO portals are entities that provide an electronic system to help facilitate the offering of newly issued digital tokens.
ICO portals perform due diligence on the characteristics of digital tokens to be offered and the qualifications of the issuer. It ensures the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in the registration statements, draft prospectus or any other information that is disclosed through the portal.
Thailand has licensed four ICO portals: Longroot, T-box, SE Digital and Bitherb. Among the four, Bitherb is not yet operational.
Under Thai anti money laundering law, crypto exchanges, brokers, dealers and ICO portals are all classified as financial institutions. The Thai securities regulator has emphasised that individuals or entities with the intent to operate a digital asset business need to seek approval by the Minister of Finance upon recommendations from the SEC.
Last year, lawmakers in the country announced their plans to reform the cryptocurrency laws after concerns that their current state is hindering the country’s competitive edge. These changes appear to indicate a vast shift in the country’s perspective of cryptocurrencies, especially with their research and development into central bank digital currencies (CBDC).