According to a recent report on the Bangkok Post, the Finance Ministry of Thailand has granted licenses to four cryptocurrency-related businesses to carry out their business activities in the country. Out of these four, three businesses, i.e., Bitcoin Co, Satang Corporation Co Ltd, and Bitkub Online Co Ltd will foray into business as cryptocurrency exchanges while the remaining one, i.e., Coins.co.th Ltd will be operating as a broker and dealer of cryptocurrencies. The official statement issued by the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) also revealed that the Finance Ministry had denied the permission to two other applications filed for obtaining the licenses for operating cryptocurrency exchanges.
The rejected applications belong to Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co Ltd and Cash2Coins Co Ltd and were denied on the grounds of having a sub-standard asset management system and the electronic system for Know Your Customer. Both these organizations now have to terminate their cryptocurrency exchange businesses in the country; however, to facilitate the transfer of digital assets to other platforms, the ministry has allowed the exchanges to continue their operation till January 14. The SEC has asked both organizations to apprise it about the returned or transferred digital assets while allowing them to re-apply for the licenses in the future. The finance ministry is also evaluating the application of another crypto exchange, Coin Asset Co for granting it as approval. The business practices of the exchange are currently under review, and till further notice, the exchange is allowed to carry out its trade practices as before.
Cryptocurrency and Thailand
The Bank of Thailand in early 2018 asked the financial institutions of the country to refrain from dealing with businesses involved in cryptocurrencies. However, later in May, a new royal decree was issued in favor of cryptocurrencies and crypto exchanges. Further, the SEC introduced a new regulatory framework defining the rules and the procedures for investing in various digital assets offered in the form of initial coin offering (ICO). With this latest development of grunting licenses, the crypto community is very optimistic about the bright future of digital currency in the country. The crypto exchanges are hoping that these new reforms will help to attract institutional investors to invest in cryptocurrencies.
Commenting on this development, the CEO and co-founder of Bitkub Capital Holdings, Jirayut Srupsrisopa said to Bangkok Post that he expects institutional investors to hold a major share in cryptocurrency investments in future given the fact that now the crypto business is not illegal. Currently, most investors in the crypto space belong to the category of retail investors. In fact, the Bitkub is now looking to forge a partnership with two securities organization to help encourage the transition of mainstream investors from the conventional capital market to digital assets space. Srupsrisopa sees enormous growth potential in the cryptocurrency market and expects the market to become ten times of its current size in the next two to three years.