Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has landed almost twenty-four applicants looking to work as a domestic cryptocurrency exchanger.

The secretary-general of the Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rapee Sucharitakul has brought into light that a total of 20 firms had already applied for licenses to operate cryptocurrency exchanges within 30 days. After a new regulatory licensing framework for ICOs and the broader crypto sector came into effect on July 16 after a royal decree was made public in May. Since then, the SEC became one of the world’s earliest securities market regulators to recognize cryptocurrencies in fundraising, permitting seven specific coins as payments for ICO users. The coins are Ripple, Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar and Ethereum Classic. Besides, projects that intend to offer cryptocurrency exchange services must also gain approval from the SEC before trading commences.

Also, Rapee Sucharitakul said, “many firms interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said cryptocurrency and digital assets trading in the Thai market is quite active.” Adding: the SEC revealed that about 50 ICOs had expressed their interest in becoming enrolled to conduct compliant token sales in Thailand.

However, before this Body called SEC can grant licenses to a person projects, it must first select the so-called “ICO portals” – digital marketplaces where prospective ICO issuers can operate their token sales. Sucharitakul divulges that, three out of the five interested firms have submitted official applications to the SEC. He furthers said, although the firms have expressed interests and sent applications, there is no clear clue of how many applications will be approved or successfully.

The SEC sees the nation’s Finance Ministry before finalizing the approval of any company. Though Sucharitakul did not talk about any specific timeframe for the adoption, the process can take three months with the SEDC and an extra two months with the Finance Ministry. Some necessary criteria are that the firm must be enrolled and work in the country with around financial records.

In the same region on Thursday, August 2, 2018, regulators from the Philippines had taken similar action, releasing its draft rules on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to regulate cryptocurrencies trading. The country’s SEC is presently seeking public comment before finalizing the regulations.

Thailand’s acceptance of the cryptocurrency space in a synchronized ability follows improvements to its east in the Philippines wherein the country’s central bank permitted the accreditation of two new cryptocurrency exchanges a month ago, making the total to 5 regulated exchanges in the country currently. Beyond advancements in the mainland, a government-regulated economic zone in the northern tip of the Philippines is issuing 25 crypto exchange licenses within the economic region as well.

It all makes for a soaring development among eastern Asian countries that started in Japan a year ago, wherein Japan’s Payment Services Act was amended to see cryptocurrency like bitcoin as legal tender. The new legislation has encouraged domestic exchanges to enroll and get licensure from Japan’s financial regulator as well. So far, the country has already licensed sixteen cryptocurrency exchanges to operate nationally.

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Alessandro Pietrocola

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