Regulatory Authorities in Thailand Grant 4 Crypto Businesses Licenses

The crypto industry is booming in Thailand and Southeast Asia as regulatory authorities validate the industry with proper regulation.

The SEC in Thailand has been very proactive about regulating crypto businesses in the region, and has just recently announced that the Ministry of Finance granted 4 crypto businesses digital asset licenses.

Per the announcement, the SEC stated that 7 crypto-related businesses applied for the proper license to operate in the country under the Emergency Degree on Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 (2018). Prior to the Ministry of Finance’s decision to grant the licenses, these businesses were granted provisional rights to operate.

The crypto-related businesses who were approved licensing include 3 crypto exchanges: Bitcoin Exchange Co Ltd, Bitkub Online Co Ltd, Satang Corporation, and 1 digital asset broker, Coins TH Co Ltd.

As for the other 3 applicants, 2 of them — Cash2coin Co Ltd and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co Ltd (SEADEX) — were denied licensing due to their failure to meet the approval criteria.

As stated in the SEC’s press release on the matter, these businesses failed because:

“[Their] systems for custody of client assets and Know Your Customer (KYC) were inconsistent with the SEC’s acceptable standards, while the sufficiency of their IT security and cybersecurity systems could not be verified.”

Since Cash2Coin and SEADEX were rejected, the financial regulator requires that they cease all operations by January 14, 2019. However, the SEC noted that the rejected applicants may apply again in the future, provided they meet the criteria for the application.

As for the other company who failed to gain approval, Coin Asset Co Ltd, their application is still under review due to organizational changes in its executive board. While being reviewed, the SEC has allowed them to carry on with their normal business operations.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Tech in Asia

In many ways, Asia is outpacing the West in terms of their regulatory stance on cryptocurrency-related business and adoption of blockchain technology. For instance, over 50 ICO projects and 20 cryptocurrency exchanges filed for licenses to operate within Thailand in August 2018.

To this, the Thai SEC secretary general said:

“Many companies interested in opening digital asset exchanges have said digital assets and cryptocurrency trading in the Thai market are quite active.”

Furthermore, Thailand has been proactive in adopting blockchain technology, as their government plans to upgrade the country’s tax system with blockchain technology. According to the Revenue Department Chief of Thailand, they plan to adopt blockchain technology and machine learning for tax avoidance probes.

Another country in Asia taking a proactive approach to cryptocurrency and blockchain tech is Japan. Back in October 2018, Japan made the decision to let the crypto industry regulate itself, rather than get in the way of innovation. Therefore, they turned regulatory responsibility over to the Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA).

Overall, the trend throughout Asia is quite positive on the cryptocurrency and blockchain front. Governments are being proactive with regulation and fostering innovation, and new crypto-related businesses and the adoption of blockchain technology is happening everywhere.

As we move through 2019, we can expect to see many new developments and innovations in the crypto and blockchain industry.

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