Thailand SEC Approves First-Ever Foreign ICO Screening Portal

Yashu Gola

Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved a portal that would screen Initial Coin Offering projects (ICOs).

The securities regulator told the Bangkok Post they interviewed “roughly” 7-8 portals for the job of selecting ICOs, conducting due diligence, reviewing smart contract codes, and verifying the know-your-customer process. Eventually, the SEC’s board of directors approved one ICO portal out of all. The commission refused to share any further details about the selected company, except that it was a non-Thailand venture.

Archari Suppiroj, the SEC’s director of Fintech, confirmed that the commission had forwarded its selection to the relevant government agencies, including the Ministry of Commerce, for further consideration. She added that the ICO portal – if approved by the government – would list its first ICO deal for a public offering “under the digital asset royal decree.”

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In Retrospective

The approval comes as the SEC’s efforts to introduce a stable regulatory framework for startups that want to raise operational capital via digitized tokens’ sales. On May 14, 2018, the commission and Thailand’s Ministry of Finance amended an old securities bill to legalize the use of crypto assets. Per the new law, the SEC would approve an “ICO Portal” which would list licensed digital currency businesses. They include startups that would gain permission to launch security token offerings (STO).

In their current format, Thailand laws do not permit companies to digitize securities and launch an STO. Ms. Sippiroj said that the SEC is yet to finalize the criteria for applications for STOs. Once the commission introduces a dedicated STO rulebook, startups would be able to apply for a securities operator license accordingly.

“This will help bridge the digital asset royal decree and securities,” adeed Ms. Sippiroj.

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