Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has received the support of top financial experts in the country to take up the responsibility of regulating cryptocurrency trading and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
As per a report by the Bangkok Post, Korn Chatikavanij – the chairman of the Thai Fintech Association (TFA) – has voiced support for the SEC to assume this responsibility, since the regulatory authority has been monitoring digital assets and ICOs, and is more familiar with them as compared to other government organizations.
Speaking to the Bangkok Post, Chatikavanij (who is also a former finance minister) said:
“I agree with the Finance Ministry's [view] of letting the SEC be the only organisation governing digital assets, because it already oversees securities and has a profound understanding of digital assets.”
“Digital assets are new for everyone, and no one knows everything [about them], so all parties should be open-minded, learn about them and have proper rules and regulations,” he added.
Chatikavanij stated that the TFA had held discussions with the SEC, the Thai Finance Ministry, and the Bank of Thailand, to stress their view that official rules and regulations for cryptocurrencies were required in the country, for risk reduction, investor protection, and the appropriate supervision of all sorts of digital assets and virtual fund raising methods.
However, the TFA chairman also went on to clarify that the rules were not intended to stifle or ban such activities, since ICOs can be a beneficial means of fund raising, particularly for SMEs. He also emphasized the importance of education for market participants, in order to minimize risks.
Chatikavanij’s statements come after public hearings on a regulatory framework for ICOs, proposed by the SEC, were finally concluded on January 22, after two extensions. Agreements are reported to have been reached on regulating ICOs via an “investment participation” track – i.e. requiring token sales to be conducted via an ICO portal originating in Thailand, with a minimum 5 million baht limit for registered capital.
Meanwhile, Bank of Thailand governor Veerathai Santiprabhob has confirmed that the regulatory laws for digital currencies are expected to be finalized within a month (as per Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak), and will cover areas including investor protection, and the possibility of cryptocurrency usage for criminal activities such as tax evasion and money laundering.