New ICO guidance will hopefully clear up issuer confusion.
The Thai Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) has published a framework for regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs), according to the Bangkok Post. Effective July 16, it delegates the responsibility of ICO approval to “ICO portals” and is intended to help safeguard investors against fraudulent or poorly planned token offerings.
These guidelines stipulate that to be eligible to launch an ICO in Thailand, an issuer must be approved by an ICO portal that has already been approved by the SEC. The portal must be based in Thailand and have a minimum of five million baht in registered capital (roughly $180,000 at time of press).
In addition, the new regulations specify that ICO portals must have an adequate management structure, enough personnel to properly prepare and evaluate the business plan and distribution structure of issuers’ tokens, and ensure all source code has been properly disclosed.
Under the new regulations, ICO portals will also be responsible for identifying investors’ status, identity, and risk-taking ability.
Rules instituted through a royal decree in June, which state that issuers are only allowed to accept payment in baht, bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, bitcoin cash, Stellar, Ripple, and Ethereum Classic, will still be enforced.
No one investor can invest more than 300,000 baht, or 70 percent of the total value of tokens offered, but issuers will be able to offer an unlimited number of tokens to “ultra-high net worth investors, venture capital firms, and private equity funds.”
The secretary general for the Thai SEC voiced the agency’s willingness to help those interested in launching an ICO in Thailand:
“The SEC is pleased to immediately discuss details with those who would like to be approved as ICO portals in order for them to be prepared for the regulatory framework. After the SEC approves an ICO portal, the token will be assessed for approval.”
The road leading to these regulations has been long and winding. In September of last year, ETHNews reported that the Thai SEC had issued guidance on ICOs in an effort to nurture the advancement of blockchain and crypto technology. In March of this year, it was reported that the SEC was drafting a decree that would outline tax standards for crypto, and in June, Thailand’s Central Bank began researching the implementation of blockchain technology into the banking industry, as well as the possible benefits of issuing a central bank digital currency.