Thailand Stock Exchange Plans To Launch Blockchain-Based Marketplace For Startups

In the third quarter of 2017, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) will launch a blockchain-based marketplace for startups. The idea came after instructions from Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak suggested the SET consider a facility for startup fundraising.

Santi Kiranand, senior executive vice-president and chief marketing officer of the SET, told the BangkokPost, "It will be a 'marketplace', not a miniature of the SET and the MAI [Market for Alternative Investment], where investors generally believe that securities traded are well-selected and regulated. As [the marketplace] is not a trading board, there is no regulator to verify their quality and investors must make investments by themselves." 

Kiranand also stated there will only be a few qualification requirements that firms will have to meet in order to participate. "The startups that want to mobilize funds from this marketplace must register with the authorities, conduct business with transparency and have a single financial account.”

However, investment opportunities will be limited based on the risks involved with medium sized enterprises and budding startups. As SET President Kesara Manchusree pointed out, blockchain technology places no restrictions on trading units. As a result, only institutional, high-net-worth venture capital funds and/or angel investors are permitted to trade in the marketplace. Investors in the SET and the MAI (a stock exchange for smaller firms) usually trade in units of 100.

In January 2017, the Thailand Security and Exchange Commission also announced they will be establishing an over-the-counter platform for startup businesses, hoping to limit the privilege of investing in startups to only accredited investors.