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Thailand SEC Expects to Approve 5 ICOs Once Regulations Enacted

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has launched a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICO) that took effect on July 16. The SEC expects 5 ICO projects to register for fund-raising procedures after the digital asset regulatory framework takes effect according to Bangkok Post. By that time, Thailand will be one of the first countries to issue licences to ICO portals.

Thawatchai Kiatkwankul, Director of Corporate Finance in the equity department at the SEC indicates that ICO has the enormous growth potential. In order to meet market demand, the SEC is about to expand and hire more related recruits and merge its ICO registration unit with the Initial Public Offering (IPO) registration.

He also disclosed that, “5 out of 50 projects expecting to raise capital from the Thai markets and pending approval are ready as initial pilot projects.”

Kiatkwankul also emphasized that all the ICO projects need to have commercial value and need to be examined before they can be considered suitable for registration.

In order to differentiate token categories, the SEC has divided ICOs into 3 types, they are investment tokens, utility token and cryptocurrency. According to the framework, the token issues can only sell their tokens through an ICO portal that approved by the SEC.

Meanwhile, Approved ICOs cen be offered in unlimited amount of such assets to institutional investors, ultra high net worth investors, venture capital and private equity firms. However, issuers can only offer up to 300,000 baht (US$9,050) in tokens to retail investors.

In addition, an ICO portal operators also needs to pay an application fee of 50,000 baht and an annual fee of 100,000 which may be payable on every Jan 31.The SEC claimed that they will the examine their applications within 90 days.

Thai’s regulatory initiative is aiming to regulate domestic digital assets transactions as well as to collect tax on this financial activity. Apisak Tantivorawong, the Thai Finance Minister, said in March that the finance ministry will impose 15% withholding tax on gains from cryptocurrency trading and there will also be a 7% value-added tax while general investors will be exempted.

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