Thailand’s Official Stock Exchange, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is one of the most trusted and reliable stock markets in the world with over 700 listed companies and a combined market capitalization of close to 18 trillion Baht which is about USD 560 billion. The SET bourse is a market which is used to trade securities, commodities, options and other investments. The SET is looking to modernize its offerings, and in that endeavor, it is planning to apply for a digital asset operating license from the Finance Ministry of Thailand. Thailand has been making some very big strides in cryptocurrency adoption, and the move could put the country at the forefront of the digital age.
SET Leads The Global Stock Exchanges For Digital Assets
Pakorn Peetathawatchai was appointed to a four-year term as the SET’s president in June 2018 and has been instrumental in pursuing the digital asset trading licenses. Trading cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are very popular in Thailand, especially in the younger 18-30 age group. To capitalize on this popularity, members of the SET are looking to offer brokerage and trading services. Currently, there are many securities firms which are vying for cryptocurrency licenses from the government. However, The Official Stock Exchange will have a huge advantage compared to other firms in obtaining a license since it is one of the oldest and most reliable exchanges in Thailand. The SET was founded in 1975 and has been successfully operating for over 43 years. It was also one of the first exchanges globally to switch to computerized trading in 1991 through the Automated System for the Stock Exchange of Thailand (ASSET). If SET can succeed in its aspirations to create a separate exchange for digital assets, it would become the first stock exchange in the world to set up a digital asset exchange. Thailand’s first cryptocurrency exchange, Bitkup is also interested in partnering with the bourse by providing technical expertise in running a digital assets exchange.
The SET has to get approvals from two government agencies before it can start offering it brokering services to customers. First, it needs approvals from the Finance Ministry of Thailand which is the authority for digital license issuance in the country. The second is the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand which is the country’s primary regulator. Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, the chairwoman of the Association of Securities Companies claims that the SET is set on adopting digital assets because of growing demand. In a recent interview with Bangkok Post, Pattera claimed that they expect digital assets to grow in the future as the population becomes more knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies. Given the propensity for SET to stay a leader in emerging technologies over the last 25 years, they are in a great position to obtain the license and successfully begin trading cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain Adoption In Thailand
As countries around the world have taken ambiguous positions regarding cryptocurrencies in 2018, Thailand has embraced the technology completely. In fact, the Bank of Thailand is developing its own central bank digital currency to be used as legal tender in the country. The country has attracted a number of leading blockchain startups because it has developed clear guidelines for blockchain companies which most other countries do not have. After temporarily halting Initial Coin Offerings in 2017, Thailand has once again made regulations that are conducive to the long term growth of blockchain companies in the country by divings ICOs into three categories – investment tokens, utility tokens, and cryptocurrency. In June 2018, the government of Thailand legalized 7 cryptocurrencies – Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar and also allowed a few trusted exchanges to operate. Additionally, the regulators in Thailand have shown repeatedly that they are willing to listen to and work with blockchain startups in order to do everything “by the book.” Taking such a progressive stance of blockchains is certainly going to establish Thailand as a leader in technology in the future.