Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is considering lifting the 300,000 baht (about $8,800) retail investment limit for initial coin offerings (ICO) to stimulate investments in digital tokens.
As reported by the local media Bangkok Post, the Thai regulator opened a public hearing until 27 April on its plans to remove the limit for asset-backed ICOs, including the ones backed by real estate and infrastructure projects. Under the current rules, retail investors can only invest up to 300,000 baht in a project through an ICO.
“The revision of the regulation is aimed at enhancing effective monitoring of digital asset operations and reducing risks that might affect investors, digital asset operators, and the market,” the Thai regulator said.
The SEC further highlighted that the move to lift the ICO limit for retail investors would allow more retail investments, increasing their risk exposure.
To minimize the risks in the sector, the Thai regulator is planning to mandate regulatory permission for digital asset operators to expand into other business areas. However, the new rules would increase the compliance cost to the digital asset operators in the country.
The Thai Cryptocurrency Sector
Thailand has strict oversight of the local cryptocurrency industry. Only a handful of crypto exchanges operate locally, but the industry is still stressed. Last year Huobi shuttered its Thailand operations, while Bitkub, one of the leading local exchanges, faced enforcement actions.
The $100 million capital buyout of Zipmex, another Thailand-focused crypto exchange, also might be in jeopardy as the investor reportedly missed a $1.25 million payment recently. Earlier, local banking giant SCB backtracked from acquiring a controlling state at Bitkub, citing pending regulatory issues.
Meanwhile, Thai regulators continue to strengthen crypto oversight and bought strict rules around the promotions and advertising of cryptocurrency companies, primarily to minimize risks. It mandated the showcasing of investment risks, and companies need to provide information on advertising terms to the regulator. Another law bans any form of crypto payments in the country but allows investment and trading.
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