Thai Regulators Grant Licenses to Four Crypto Businesses
Thailand’s finance ministry has issued digital asset licenses to four companies while also rejecting two applications and considering another one.
Thailand has joined other Asian nations such as Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong in opening its doors to the cryptocurrency industry. The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Tuesday the country’s finance ministry had granted digital asset business licenses to four applicants.
The companies obtaining approval are cryptocurrency exchanges Bitcoin Exchange, Bitkub Online, and Satang Corporation, as well as crypto broker and dealer Coins TH.
While these businesses succeeded in getting operating licenses, two others were not as successful. Applications from Cash2Coin and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange (SEADEX) were both rejected for failing to meet the required approval criteria set out by the SEC. The agency explained that the platforms had poor know-your-customer (KYC) rules and unsafe IT security and cybersecurity systems. In light of these findings, the SEC ordered the companies to stop operations and notify their users about the cessation by January 14 so that clients can withdraw their funds from the exchanges.
The SEC further revealed that an application filed by Coin Asset is still under consideration because due to a change of company executives, which is material information for the review process.
“While the Ministry of Finance is considering the material change, the company may continue business operation by virtue of the Transitional Provisions of the Emergency Degree on Digital Asset Businesses,” the SEC explained.
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 initial coin offerings (ICOs) last year and is said to be considering moves to loosen those rules in order to establish itself as an industry hub in the region. The Thai government has also been exploring blockchain technologies so it can deploy a national cryptocurrency.