Thailand’s Ministry of Finance Issues Digital Asset Business Licenses to Four Crypto Firms

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand published a notice on 8 January 2019 stating that the country’s Ministry of Finance has issued digital asset business licenses to four crypto-related firms, namely Bitcoin Exchange Co. Ltd., Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Satang Corporation and Coins TH Co. Ltd.

Bitcoin Exchange, Bitkub Online and Satang Corporation are crypto exchanges while Coins TH is a cryptocurrency brokerage firm. All the firms were issued business licenses by the ministry based on recommendations from the SEC.

The country’s SEC has been approving multiple crypto-related businesses as an attempt to formalize the local domestic crypto market. In August 2018, seven business firms were given permission by the SEC to carry out crypto-related operations.

It is worth noting that not all crypto firms will be guaranteed a license if they apply. An application filed by Coin Asset Co. Ltd. was reported to still be under consideration as there was a recent change to the company’s executive organization. The company was given authorization to continue its business until the Ministry of Finance gives its final decision.

Two other crypto firms, namely Cash2coin and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co. (SEADEX) had their applications rejected as they allegedly failed to meet necessary criteria set by the SEC. However, the two firms were allowed to continue operations until 14 January 2019.

The country’s SEC also actively warns its residents against trading on unlicensed crypto exchanges to prevent them from falling into traps of scammers and criminals who exploit the crypto market’s vulnerabilities.

In March 2018, the Thai Ministry of Finance announced the regulatory actions that would be implemented on ICOs (initial coin offerings). The SEC reported that the announcement attracted the interests of approximately fifty ICO projects to apply for licenses and become legally certified.