Thailand Takes Steps towards Legalizing ICOs, Approving STOs

May 8, 2019

The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) officially legalized registered initial coin offerings (ICOs) in July 2018, enabling companies to run token sales with guidance from the commission. By implementing the new policy, the Thai government had signaled a willingness to facilitate growth among local crypto startups, insofar as their operations remained in compliance with existing regulations.

Moreover, the SEC’s decision to facilitate the needs of blockchain projects to conduct ICOs demonstrated the government’s intent to help lay the groundwork for future ICO and security token offering (STO) projects.

On December 1 2018, the Thai SEC deemed Thai-related STOs in international markets to be illegal, saying it would take appropriate legal action against firms that attempted to distribute STOs that were initiated in Thailand to overseas markets.  According to Cointelegraph, the initial stance taken by the government towards STO approval in the local market contradicted plans by the Thai SEC to legalize ICOs and enable companies to raise capital from public market investors.

Security tokens are similar to registered ICOs in that both are cryptographically encrypted assets operating under the guidance of the SEC, as only registered firms that meet the commission’s criteria can run a token sale.  The government’s forward-thinking approach to ICOs may yet translate to optimism for STOs, as authorities can exercise relatively tight control over security tokens.

Although Thailand has not been as aggressive as other major Asian economies in appealing to crypto startups and bringing in talent to develop its blockchain sector, by establishing practical regulatory frameworks and facilitating the creation of new industry in security tokens, the kingdom has a potential edge over the rest of the Asian cryptocurrency sector.


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