update 18 August 2021

Thailand Set To Open Its Digital Asset Exchange Excluding Cryptocurrency

Later on this year, Thailand’s Stock Exchange, SET, plans to set up a digital asset trading platform that won’t involve cryptocurrency trading. The forum will allow both individual and institutional trading of every type of digital token, except crypto. According to SET, the reason behind the removal of cryptocurrency is the uncertainty of how to curb money laundering.

SET previously announced that the exchange will use blockchain technology for payment services. The technology will be provided by Kasikorn Business-Technology Group, a subsidiary of KBank Technology. The Stock Exchange of Thailand has also set an unspecified date for the first token fundraiser. 

Thailand’s Fear of Trading Cryptocurrency

SET’s Vice President, Kitti Sutthiattsahil, released several criteria for listings in the digital asset exchange. Some of the terms were; the token must sustain economic activities and be beneficial to society and the environment. The VP stated that cryptocurrencies do not meet the terms, and hence crypto can’t be included on the exchange. 

Late last year, Thailand’s Security and Exchange Commission(SEC) had revised new NC rules to enable securities to avail crypto services. The SEC gave Securities harboring crypto the green light to calculate their returns in cryptocurrency values.

However, On January 18, Thailand’s SEC gave a trading suspension to its crypto Trading giant, BitKub. The financial regulator made the call following the company’s several system failures this year. 

BitKub was given a limited period to sort out its affairs for it to be allowed to operate again. The suspension made it seem like Thailand’s financial watchdogs were wary of allowing cryptocurrency exchanges to operate in the country last year.

Zipmex CEO Akalarp Yimwilai gave his opinion that the matter should’ve been given a different approach. He said: “Cryptocurrencies should not be blamed because law enforcement failed to do its work.” The CEO also stated that cryptocurrency is vital for financial inclusion, and it’s a way out for those who do not trust the financial system.

Thailand’s Economic Outlook

According to Yimwilai, the move to launch a digital asset exchange will spark a successful spell for Thailand’s digital economy. The country’s digital economy is projected to reach $53 billion in the next five years.

The country’s primary source of income, Tourism, had a significant setback after the emergence of the novel COVID-19. The pandemic forced the hand of the country’s government to close their borders to ‘tourists.’

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Nevertheless, SET is reassuring its citizens that the country’s economy still stands strong. On Thailand’s current economic state, VP Kitti stated that inflation is on the low. Kitti continued to say that the Bank of Thailand’s measures has kept the economy stable, and he doesn’t see the need for involving cryptocurrency at the time.