Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the country’s capital markets authority, has announced a regulatory framework for initial coin offerings (ICOs) which will go into effect on July 16.
Under the new guidelines, ICO issuers are mandated to have a company registered in Thailand approved by the SEC with a minimum registered capital of 5 million baht (approx. $150,000), a Bangkok Post report confirmed.
While each approved ICO operator will be allowed to offer an unlimited number of tokens to institutional investors, venture capital and private equity firms and ultra-high net-worth individuals, there is a token value cap of 300,000 bath ($9,050) for retail investors, the SEC confirmed.
Notably, ICO issuers are only allowed to receive payments in seven chosen cryptocurrencies. They include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum Classic, Stellar and Litecoin. Issuers can also accept fiat investments in Thai baht.
ICO issuers will have to go through an ICO portal (company) process, the latter which will need to be pre-approved by the SEC.
Disclosure of the investment prospectus, financial statements, and the source code are all mandated by the SEC. These ICO portals’ management structure and plan of operations will be scrutinized by the SEC. They ‘must be prepared to evaluate ICO issuers’ business plans and the distribution structure of digital tokens as well as perform checks to ensure that computer code, or source code, matches the disclosed information,’ the report added.
SEC SEC secretary-general Rapee Sucharitakul stated:
“The SEC is pleased to immediately discuss details with those who would like to be approved as ICO portals in order for them to be prepared for the regulatory framework. After the SEC approves an ICO portal, the token will be assessed for approval.”
The newly mandated guidelines is part of a wider embracive approach by Thai authorities who began the legislative process to regulate – in effect legalize – the domestic cryptocurrency and ICO markets in March this year with two royal decrees.
Thailand’s finance ministry outlined its proposed taxation rates for cryptocurrency trading and investments – a flat 15% withholding tax on gains. In May, Thailand’s tax authority waived a 7% value-added tax (VAT) to bring some relief for retail cryptocurrency investors.
The SEC is expecting up to 50 ICO project applications seeking approval and is reportedly favoring 5 ICO projects initially.