Thailand started out with stern regulations regarding cryptocurrencies proposing heavy taxes on trading and profiting from them. This would have definitely crippled the progress or even the end of the industry in Thailand before it even began. Now changing directions, Thailand has scrapped the 15% tax.
Since August, a number of crypto exchanges and blockchain startups filed for licenses from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC permitted seven exchanges to continue operating while it deliberated on official approval. That approval has arrived for four of them this week as the SEC announced in an official statement.
According to the release the SEC has approved the granting of 4 digital asset business licenses to the Ministry of Finance. Two have been rejected and one is still pending approval.
The companies approved have been listed as Bitcoin Co., Ltd (BX, bx.in.th), Bitkub Online Co., Ltd. (BITKUB, bitkub.com), Satang Corporation Limited (Satang Pro, satang.pro), and licensed as broker and trader Coins TH Company (Coins.co.th).
The two companies rejected were South East Asia Digital Exchange Limited (SEADEX, seadex.io) and Cash 2 Coin Company Limited (cash2coins.com). Reasons for rejection being improper KYC procedures and failure to meet cyber security standards as set out by the regulatory body. The Ministry of Finance has allowed these 2 companies to continue to operate until January 14, 2019. Following that date it has urged the companies to transfer any digital assets back to its customers and inform the SEC when they have done so. It did not prevent either company from re-applying for a license when they meet the required standards.
The final company with pending status is Coin Asset Company Limited (coinasset.co.th). Due to a number of executive changes in the organization the SEC is still reviewing the details and the company can continue to do business at the current time.
Over the year of 2018, Thailand has warmed up to crypto and this latest raft of official licenses is a big boost to the industry in the country and region as a whole. However, the central bank and remain wary and have issued warnings to various investors. Overall, the sentiment is positive and an official ICO portal has even been proposed by the SEC.