Regulators in Thailand organize Focus Group on New Cryptocurrency and ICO Regulations

On Monday, May 21, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held a public hearing on the recently passed cryptocurrency regulations. The focus group which was broadcast live on Facebook addressed concern surrounding the new directives for Initial Coin Offerings.

According to local news outlets, the discussion covered the role of the SEC towards cryptocurrency operators; the issuance of stable coins; and guidelines for pre-ICO and ICO activities.

Earlier this month, a new regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies was enacted by decree. According to the framework, cryptocurrencies, which were defined as “digital assets and digital tokens”, would be regulated by the SEC. Cryptocurrency businesses were required to register with the county’s SEC in 90 days.

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Concerning ICOs, the focus group concluded that funds can only be raised in Thai baht and cryptocurrencies approved by the SEC. Also, Initial Coin Offerings must comply with Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money-Laundering (AML) requirements. Licenses for ICOs must also be completed within 60 days. International ICOs, however, will not be listed on the ICO Portal of Thailand.

SEC-approved cryptocurrencies are those that have enough liquidity and are not associated with money laundering. They currently include Bitcoin and Ethereum.

As regards stable coins, the hearing clarified that the SEC would not handle their approval since they are not volatile; rather they may only be issued and regulated by the national bank.

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The aspects of bonuses during ICO presales remain a grey area which hopefully would be addressed in a coming hearing on May 30 according to local news source, Siam blockchain.

In March, the country’s revenue code was reviewed to make provisions for taxing cryptocurrency businesses and ICOs. In anticipation of new regulations, the Thai bank had in February placed restrictions on the registration of cryptocurrency-related accounts in Thai banks.

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