Thailand’s first ICO portal will most likely be certified for operation this month, according to an announcement from the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission. If certification is successful, the offering will most likely go live in December.
“At least one ICO portal will be certified in November, then we can approve each ICO offering, which might start in December,” explained Rapee Sucharitakul, SEC secretary-general, to the Bangkok Post.
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The ICO portals will allow the government to screen ICOs before they are accessible to the public. Consumers will be able to conduct due diligence through the portals, and the government will be able to ensure that the necessary KYC and AML processes are in place. Contract source code can also be checked through the portal.
The Post also reported that the SEC has forwarded a list of five digital asset business operators to the Finance Ministry for approval. The businesses that are under review for approval are allowed to continue their operations as normal while their applications are processed.
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“We have always warned investors against being persuaded to invest in ICO offerings because they could be scams or they might not have sufficient liquidity to trade,” Sucharitakul said.
The ICO Portal Could Be a Step in the Right Direction–But Some Believe That the Government Is Attempting Too Much Control
The portal is considered by many to be a positive sign toward a healthier relationship between the Thai government and the cryptocurrency industry. However, others believe that the government is squeezing its grip on the industry too tight.
Indeed, Deputy Prime Minister Wissan Krea-ngam has expressed his desire for the government to gain greater control over cryptocurrencies citing terrorism financing. He explained to the attendees of a counter-terrorism financing summit that greater control over crypto is needed. “More efforts – both domestically and internationally – are needed to keep up with changing times and tactics,” he said.
However, it’s also believed that Krea-ngam and other members of the current regime in Thailand are misguided in their efforts to regulate new technologies, including cryptocurrency. There have been a few close calls within the country–recently, the government just barely rescinded the passing of a 7% VAT on cryptocurrencies, a cost that would have dealt a serious blow to the industry.