Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved a portal for initial coin offering (ICO) in the country.
According to the March 13 report by Bangkok Post, the board of directors of the SEC has given the approval for the still unnamed portal, which will help to screen ICOs, conduct due diligence, prove smart contract source codes, and verify the know-your-customer process.
After receiving a go-ahead from the SEC, other government agencies in the country, including the Commerce Ministry, are now reviewing the portal to grant their approval, Archari Suppiroj, director of the fintech department at the SEC, confirmed to the publication.
The portal, however, will not support tokenization of securities as they fall under a different law in the country and firms seeking funds via that route need to apply for a license under the Securities and Exchange Act.
The financial watchdog is also considering to issue a set of guidelines for securities token offering (STO).
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Creating a Fair Market
“The first ICO deal will be available for [a] public offering in the near future under the digital asset royal decree… In the future, the SEC will issue a criteria that allows companies to apply tokenization to securities and other assets,” Suppiroj said. “This will help bridge the digital asset royal decree and securities law.”
According to Suppiroj, the ICO market has matured a lot in the past few years – evolving from project-based token sales to digital currencies backed by intangible assets. The Thai regulator is trying to create a fair market for the new-age funding technique where any players – big or small – will have a similar advantage.
“The next step is for an issuer to offer security tokens in the primary market,” the director added.
A Delayed Decision
The Thai market regulator announced the development of a dedicated ICO portal last November, as reported by Finance Magnates, which was supposed to go live in the next month. However, even with the delay, it is considered to be a major step towards putting the digital assets in the mainstream.
Last month, the watchdog banned the use of three major cryptocurrencies – Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum Classic – from being used in ICOs, only allowing Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Stellar to be used.