Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it has approved seven cryptocurrency exchanges to continue doing business in the country while it reviews their applications, according to an official August 15 statement.
Bitcoin Co. Ltd., Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins Co. Ltd., Satang Corp., and Coin Asset Co. Ltd., may all continue doing business while they wait to see if they will be granted a full license. Additionally, the Thai SEC is in the process of reviewing applications from two cryptocurrency dealers: Coins TH Co. Ltd. and Thai WebMoney.
This move by the Thai SEC seems to be a sign the country's government is ready to accept cryptocurrency as a viable financial tool, but this has not always been the case.
As ETHNews reported in February, Thailand's central bank issued a declaration prohibiting the country's financial institutions from investing in or trading virtual currency, operating exchanges or other kinds of trading platforms, or even simply giving trading or investment advice relating to crypto to their clients.
In May, the country's stance regarding cryptocurrency looked as if it had softened a little when Thai King Rama X implemented a law regulating transactions in cryptocurrency. His decree obligated the Thai SEC to oversee and regulate digital assets and stipulated that companies selling crypto be required to register with the Thai SEC within 90 days or face stiff financial penalties.
This royal decree, in part, may have sparked an influx of companies wanting to register their initial coin offerings (ICOs) with the Thai SEC. Yet, according to a June 2018 report, out of the 50 different ICO projects hoping to raise funds from Thai investors, only five were ready to launch pilots at that time.
Thailand has taken the scenic route toward the adoption of cryptocurrency, but the fact the country's government is even considering issuing licenses to crypto exchanges and dealers seems to be a sign that it will eventually get there.