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Thai Regulator Opens Digital Asset Licence Application

Thailand Finance Ministry’s has announced a regulatory framework for digital asset licencing which came into force Tuesday on July 24, and interested parties could apply for licences from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to local news outlet Bangkok Post.

“Existing businesses that already operate a digital asset business or newcomers interested in obtaining licences as brokerage firms, traders or trading centres for digital assets can apply for official licences at the SEC.”

From outright ban on bitcoin to ban lift, the country has been receptive to bitcoin use in recent years. In these two months, Thai regulators have enacted two decrees on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO), aiming to regulate crypto businesses, cryptocurrencies transaction as well as their taxation.

Pursuant to the royal decree, digital assets cover cryptocurrencies, digital tokens and any other electronic data unit, as specified by the SEC.

All parties including ICO issuer, exchanges, brokerage firms or traders related to digital assets are mandated to go through registration procedures at the SEC within 90 days from the date when the law takes effect. Then the Finance Minister will consider licence approval within 60 days.

As per the earlier decree, registered capital for digital exchanges is stipulated at 50 million baht (roughly $1.5 million) for a centralized exchange, and a decentralised exchange is at 10 million ($300,000). Annual fee for digital exchanges is charged at 0.002% of trading volume, with a minimum fee capped at 500,000 baht ($15,000) and 20 million ($600,000) for maximum.

Sellers of unauthorized digital tokens will be fined no more than twice the value of the digital transaction or at least 500,000 baht ($15,000), or even face a jail term of up to two years.

Regarding regulations on ICOs, ICO issuers are only allowed to receive payments in 7 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Stellar and Litecoin.

In terms of taxation, crypto investors will be collected 7% VAT (value added tax) and 15% withholding tax on cryptocurrencies and ICOs. while they will be exempt from paying VAT if they trade through exchanges or make no capital gains.

Local active crypto exchanges in Thailand currently are, TDAX and JIBEX.


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