The privately owned Thai Digital Asset Exchange (TDAX) is deferring the trading and registration of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) for two weeks while awaiting a soon-to-be revealed regulatory framework from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commision (Thai SEC), the Bangkok Post reported Monday, Feb. 26.
The decision to postpone the ICO trading, even though there are reportedly five or six ICOs already in development, comes after Bangkok Bank terminated TDAX’s account in order to stop crypto transactions over the weekend, citing the lack of an operating license.
TDAX was registered as a digital currency business with the Commerce Ministry’s Business Development department, according to Poramin Insom, TDAX founder and chief executive. However, Insom told the Bangkok Post:
“The bank called and asked whether there was an operating licence for proof, but I answered that this business was not under legal jurisdiction [hence the absence of an operating licence], so the bank said it would terminate the company’s bank account [with Bangkok Bank], as this business had no licence.”
Bangkok Bank is reportedly the first domestic financial institution in Thailand to stop transactions involving cryptocurrencies, according to the Bangkok Post.
Insom added that the closure of TDAX’s account at Bangkok Bank has not affected the exchange’s crypto trading, because the exchange still has accounts at Kasikornbank (KBank), Siam Commercial Bank and Krungthai Bank.
Insom had said over the weekend that TDAX, which has about $175,725 in registered capital itself, was soon planning to apply for an ICO license with the Thai SEC, pending its regulatory framework.
A source told the Bangkok Post that the Thai SEC will most likely release their regulatory framework on March 8, and it will require online exchanges to register with the SEC in order to regulate all ICOs.
The framework will reportedly require ICOs to be registered on an Thailand-based ICO portal, with the minimum registered capital marked at 5 mln baht, or about $160,000.
A different source told the Bangkok Post that individual investments will be capped at 300,000 baht, or around $9,500, but since this amount “for individual investors is very tiny. Hence, you will see many Thai startups registered in foreign countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore to raise funds outside of Thailand’s legal jurisdiction.“
The Central Bank of Thailand sent out a circular last week warning all banks that they can neither invest and trade in cryptocurrencies, nor participate in or create exchanges for crypto trading. However, this circular was applicable only to banks, not to exchanges and other crypto platforms that still have free reign to operate within Thailand.