Is the stock exchange of Thailand about to adopt Cryptocurrencies?

It has been reported this weekend that SET (Stock Exchange of Thailand) is about to apply for a licence to open a cryptocurrency exchange.

As more investors look toward cryptocurrencies it seems that Thailand is hoping to become the crypto hub of South East Asia. As such there are not many specific institutional platforms for trading crypto’s at the moment and the stock exchange of Thailand is planning to introduce one for the institutional investors. If the regulators approve the licence then it will be a huge step for the crypto community.

Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, who is a member of the board of directors of the Stock Exchange of Thailand, says the exchange is getting ready to take a dive into the cryptocurrency market by presenting brokerage services for crypto trading.

Dr. Pakorn Peetathawatchai, President of the SET, told markets on Thursday that the bourse is preparing to launch test a digital exchange prototype in the second half of this year.

Being in close proximity to China and India where regulations are somewhat cloudy, Thailand is looking to cement its position as a market leader within the region. It wants to provide professional services to traders who are looking to formalise their crypto trading desks. The government of the country is also promoting blockchain technology. Just last year, Thailand also legalised some of the major cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, litecoin, ethereum and more while the securities and exchange commission of the country has also given clear regulations in relation to initial coin offerings (ICO’s). Just two weeks ago the Ministry of Thailand had also granted licensing to three new cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in the country. So all-in-all it seems like its full steam ahead.

In May last year, the country sensibly started asking sellers of cryptocurrencies to register with the security exchange commission. Those who sold coins without registration were fined up to fifteen thousand dollars (USD) and some had been handed prison sentences. This avoided lots of scams and legitimised the industry in Thailand. Prior to this, in April cryptocurrency investors in the nation were told they would have to pay 7% VAT tax and 15% on capital gains in a proposed new law. So it seems that in this chain of events the government has been structuring toward a new regime.

As previously stated, Thailand had also issued four licenses to four cryptocurrency exchanges, Bx, Bitkub, Coins and Satang Pro, granting them permission to operate in the country. The move represents a step forward for the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies, in line with Japan. Two other exchanges failed to win licences after not carrying out KYC correctly and not having enough IT infrastructure. So over time, Thailand may become an Asian hub for crypto transactions and trading activity. Markets are eagerly awaiting the outcome of the proposed measure by the exchange and if it happens it will be a massive step forward.