At a time when most governments across the globe are struggling to understand their place in the blockchain space, Thailand seems to be embracing this technology with much ease. Their significant strides since 2017 are gaining the attention of international firms through the clear-cut and decisive guidelines presented to help in the smooth functioning of foreign blockchain companies.
Let’s now dig deeper to understand how Thailand has emerged as one of the compelling countries in Southeast Asia and how they seem to know their potential in the blockchain technology space.
Trading Of Digital Currencies
Thailand stands among the first countries in Southeast Asia to enact blockchain legislations. It is done to regulate the offering of digital assets. In early 2018, the trading of seven digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Stellar, Ethereum Classic, and Litecoin was legalized. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has allowed the use of these currencies to be traded as trading pairs.
All market participants such as brokers, dealers, and ICO issuers are expected to register with the SEC within 90 days and they should attain the approval of the Finance Ministry to conduct a digital asset business. These currencies are assessed based on their credibility and liquidity.
The Finance Ministry of Thailand has mentioned that only those companies registered in Thailand will be approved. A fee of 5 million baht is charged which when separated amounts to 2.5 million each for blockchain operations and token distribution. A fee of 2 million is charged for digital asset leaders and 2.5 million for digital asset dealers.
Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
One of Thailand’s strategic moves has been opening up blockchain company licenses thereby permitting the operation of Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and exchanges in the country. This was primarily done to attract foreign companies and encourage investment. In July 2018, Thailand SEC has divided ICOs into three types namely cryptocurrency, investment tokens, and utility tokens.
To gain SEC’s approval, token issuers must mention the type of tokens being issued and the investment information. ICO portals must have a registered capital of at least 5 million baht and have to look after ICO offerings for at least a year. An ICO portal which has received SEC’s approval is obligated to conduct due diligence and a certain screening process. However, the SEC office still has the right to reject any ICO project on reasonable grounds.
Annual Fees And Registered Capital
Brokers solely involved in sending trading orders must have 1 million baht worth of registered capital while it is 5 million baht for dealers. Registered capitals for a centralized exchange and a centralized broker are 50 million and 25 million baht respectively. The registered capital is 10 million and 5 million baht for a decentralized exchange and a decentralized broker respectively.
A filing submitted between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019 carries an annual fee of 0.06% of the total value of digital token offered for sale and those submitted from 1 January 2020 onwards will carry a total value of 0.05%. Applications submitted during 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2019 will carry application fees of THB 2,00,000 and those from 1 January 2020 onward will be charged THB 3,00,000.
Some of the other notable features which will exemplify Thailand’s progress are:
1. The discussion of Thailand SEC Team with Vitalik Buterin (founder of Ethereum) and OmiseGo (eWallet and smart contract platform) about the status of ICOs and exchanges.
2. Bithumb, the second largest reliable blockchain platform in Korea, which proclaimed its intention to open in Thailand.
3. Bank of Thailand (BOT) announcing its Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) initiative. This decentralized money transfer initiative aims to increase the technological readiness of Thailand’s financial sector.
Though the blockchain industry has been around for over ten years now, Thailand seems to have recognized its potential and has put it to the best use. These implementations put forward by Thailand will promote numerous companies to develop codependency with their respective governments. Considering the reasons mentioned above, it is not surprising that many people around the world now consider Thailand as a blockchain destination.