Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly going to certify the region’s first initial coin offering (ICO) portal later this month, with the first authorized ICO project likely launching its project in December.
According to the Bangkok Post, ICOs in Thailand will be vetted on a case-by-case basis, and will then be added to the portal so investors can conduct due diligence and know the projects they may invest in are regulated. The SEC’s secretary-general, Rapee Sucharitakul, was quoted as saying:
At least one ICO portal will be certified in November, then we can approve each ICO offering, which might start in December.
Having a regulated ICO portal will, according to some analysts, allow the government to ensure know-your-customer (KYC) checks are enforced. The country’s SEC didn’t just announce it’ll certify an ICO portal, but has also “forwarded a list of five digital asset business operators to the Finance Ministry” to be approved.
These are currently being allowed to operate in the country, as the SEC is still assessing their applications. The country’s regulatory framework for digital currencies went into effect in May of this year, and as a result companies and individuals selling cryptoassets are required to register with the SEC within 90 days, or face fines and other penalties.
The regulator has issued warnings against ICOs earlier this year, as it claimed several launched in the country were putting investors at risk, while failing to meet regulatory standards. Commenting on the launch of the ICO portal, Rapee added:
We have always warned investors against being persuaded to invest in ICO offerings because they could be scams or they might not have sufficient liquidity to trade
Notably, Thailand has been expecting a sharp rise in cryptocurrency-related crimes. This, the Institute of Justice claims, is alarming as professionals working in the sector don’t have the knowledge required to tackle the threat. As CryptoGlobe covered, Thailand’s has recently deputy Prime Minister, Wissanu Krea-ngam, has recently argued “more measures to control” cryptocurrencies are required.