The Finance Ministry in Thailand has granted the licence to three crypto exchanges and rejected the proposal of two other exchanges in its latest review. In exception, the ministry has also given a working permit to one broker-dealer.
Thailand’s SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) announced the list of approved applications yesterday in a press release. The seven companies were reportedly working temporarily in Thailand from the past few years.
The applicants that were granted the licences are three digital asset exchanges: Bitcoin Exchange Co Ltd (BX), Bitkub Online Co Ltd (BITKUB), and Satang Corporation (Satang Pro). Plus, one cryptocurrency broker and dealer Coins TH Co. Ltd. says the SEC Board in a press statement.
Why did the Two Applicants Face Rejection?
The two companies that have been denied the permission to operate in Thailand are Cash2coin Co Ltd and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co Ltd (SEADEX). Both the companies had applied for a digital asset exchange licence. According to the ministry, “The applicants failed to meet the approval criteria regarding important work systems. For example, the systems for custody of client assets and Know Your Customer (KYC) were inconsistent with the SEC’s acceptable standards, while the sufficiency of their IT security and cyber security systems could not be verified.”
Unfortunately, Cash2coin and SEADEX will have to roll down its shutters in Thailand as they become subject to business cessation. However, to ensure proper proceeding including notification to the clients regarding asset refunds or transfers to other digital asset operators, the ministry has given them the remand till the 14th of this month.
Regarding clients’ assets under custody, the companies are requested to transfer or return the assets according to the clients’ order and notify results of the matter to the SEC. The SEC has notified Cash2coin and SEADEX in writing of the required proceeding. In any case, the application rejection this time does not invalidate their right to apply for a digital asset business licence in the future as long as the application criteria are met.
The Pending Application
The application for a digital asset exchange licence filed by Coin Asset Co Ltd is still under consideration because there has been a change of company executives, which is material information for the consideration of the application. While the Ministry of Finance is considering the material change, the company may continue business operation.
Empowering Move for Crypto Startups
The move made by the Ministry will boost expansion of more crypto exchanges in the country as it makes Thailand the most attractive destination for crypto startups in the Asia-Pacific region. The year 2018 has turned out to be a successful year with numerous approvals in ICO regulations.
In June 2018, the country legalized seven cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. It seems likely that we will witness a growing influx of crypto startups from neighboring countries like India and China to Thailand this year.