Thailand: Cryptocurrency Law Will Change in 2020 to Stay ‘Competitive’

Thailand: Cryptocurrency Law Will Change in 2020 to Stay ‘Competitive’

Thai regulator eyes tweaks to the country’s cryptocurrency regulations, which appeared in 2018 but have so far delivered just five certified businesses.

Lawmakers in Thailand plan to reform cryptocurrency laws after voicing concerns that they have made the country uncompetitive.

As local English-language news outlet Bangkok Post reported on Nov. 25, Thailand’s regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) wants to reconsider its crypto policy in 2020. 

SEC must be “flexible” on crypto

The reason, it says, lies in poor uptake of its certification and licensing scheme by cryptocurrency businesses. 

Since it came into power last year, only five companies have completed certification, and of those, just two have launched.

Now, amendments are on the table, but the SEC has not yet given precise details of how current practices would change.

“The regulator must be flexible to apply the rules and regulations in line with the market environment,” Bangkok Times quoted Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, the secretary general of the SEC as saying.

Ruenvadee continued: 

“For example, laws should not be outdated and should serve market needs, especially for new digital asset products, and be competitive with the global market. We need to explore any possible obstacles.”

Just one approved ICO launched

Thailand imposes stiff penalties for those attempting to sell digital tokens without due approval from the SEC. These include possible fines of at least 500,000 baht ($16,540), as well as two-year jail sentences.

Nonetheless, when the country’s first initial coin offering (ICO) under the new rules launched last month, it signaled a significant step forward from state policy several years ago, which favored an outright cryptocurrency ban.

Worldwide, ICOs, in particular, have all but died out, with analysts attributing the lack of momentum to mounting regulatory pressure.

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