Thailand's Ministry of Finance has granted digital asset business licenses to four cryptocurrency exchanges, marking the legitimization of such platforms in the country.
A January 8 announcement from Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission.(SEC) states that the finance ministry decided to grant digital asset business licenses to Bitcoin Company Ltd. (BX), Bitkhun Online Co. Ltd. (BITKUB), Satang Corporation Limited (Satang Pro), and Coins TH Co. upon the SEC's recommendation. Applications from Cash2 Coin Co. Ltd. (Cash2coin) and South East Asia Digital Exchange Ltd. (SEADEX) were both denied based on security concerns and weak know-your-customer protections. An application submitted by Coin Asset Ltd. (Coin Asset) is still under review.
The two exchanges that were denied a license will be allowed to continue operations "under transitional provision" until January 14 to give their customers time to withdraw their assets and transfer them to another exchange. They will be eligible to reapply after addressing the above-mentioned concerns. Coin Asset will also be allowed to operate "under transitional provisions" until a decision about its application is made.
Today's list of approvals nearly matches a list of seven cryptocurrency exchanges and cryptocurrency dealers that applied for licenses in August. Thai WebMoney had also applied for a license, but according to its website, the service has shut down. SEADEX, meanwhile, did not appear in the original list from August.
The process toward regulatory approval of these businesses was winding.
In February of last year, Thailand's central bank prohibited financial institutions in the country from participating in any activity related to virtual currency. And in March, SEC Secretary General Rapee Sucharitakul announced the regulating body would soon start enforcing rules and regulations concerning the use of digital currency and initial coin offerings to better protect investors. In May, King Rama X issued a royal decree implementing a law to regulate cryptocurrency transactions. The law defined cryptocurrencies and mandated that the SEC regulate them.