Thai Watchdog to Give Green Light to 5 ICOs

Thai Watchdog to Give Green Light to 5 ICOs

Thailand’s securities watchdog is slated to give five companies a go-ahead to mount their respective initial coin offerings (ICOs) in the country this month, a local report said. 

The Thailand Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said five of the 50 companies that applied to stage their respective ICOs are already given a go signal to move ahead, a Bangkok Post report said. 

“Out of 50 ICO projects expecting to raise funds from the Thai capital market, five are ready as initial pilot projects, Thawatchai Kiatkwankul, director of corporate finance in the equity department at the SEC, said without identifying the characteristics of the five ICOs,” the report added, quoting Thai’s SEC official. 

But the token sales will have to wait until a royal decree about cryptocurrency takes into effect this year. The latest legislation was first announced on May 15 after months-long of process which prompted several public hearings and legal debates. 

This law orders ICO initiatives to register with the Thai SEC and obtain the necessary approvals before commencing any token sale. All individual retail investors can contribute up to 300,000 Thai baht (about $9,000) for each token project. 

Aside from curbing ICO contributions, other industry projects including brokers and dealers engaged in cryptocurrency transactions are obliged to be enlisted in the SEC within 90 days of the law’s enforcement. 

Kiatkwankul explained any token project needs to have a commercial value and go through the vetting process before Thailand’s SEC consider an application for registration. But it remains uncertain why these ICO projects are likely to secure their approval. 

Moving forward, the SEC is preparing to expand and integrate its ICO registration unit into initial public offerings (IPOs) as the country saw a growth potential in token projects. It is also planning to tap more people and serve market demand, according to Kiatkwankul. 

Should the ICOs go through, this would make Thailand as one of the first countries to bestow their blessings on ICOs to push through in a legal manner. This, after Bermuda and Russia announced their plans to unveil frameworks enabling ICO projects. 

Bermuda wants to lure blockchain and cryptocurrency businesses by crafting regulatory framework. “Small ships can turn quickly. That’s the beauty of Bermuda,” premier David Burt had told CoinDesk. 

The government has enacted laws on ICOs and formed a regulatory sandbox since launching a blockchain task force aligned with the Bermuda Business Development Agency (BDA) last year. 

In the case of Russia, two of its financial institutions are slated to work on a regulatory platform to make local ICOs more transparent and secure for investors in their country. 

Russia’s National Settlement Depository (NSD) previously said it is collaborating with Sberbank CIB, the bank’s corporate and investment banking unit, to test a token offering which the Bank of Russia, the country’s central bank, rolled out in April.

Sberbank shall serve as the issuance coordinator and anchor investor, while the NSD acts as the custodian, recording and resolving transactions and protecting the assets, NSD had announced.

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