The Southeast Asian nation has signaled its embracing of cryptocurrencies by legalizing the first batch of digital asset exchanges.
When it comes to blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, Asian countries seem to have taken the lead over the rest of the world. Japan was one of the early adopters of cryptocurrencies. Singapore followed suit and has emerged as a favorable destination for blockchain and crypto start-ups.
Now it’s the turn of another Southeast Asian country. Thailand has decided to embrace digital assets, and recently the first group of cryptocurrency brokers and dealers have been granted licenses to legally operate in the nation.
The Approved Exchanges
The four crypto exchanges that have been granted licenses and will soon commence operation are Bx, Coins, Satang Pro and Bitkub.
Another exchange by the name of Coin Asset that had also applied for approval has been put under extensive review. Reportedly, the firm replaced their management to win the license.
Southeast Asia Digital Exchange and Cash2Coins failed to get a license and will be shutting down this month. These firms will need to communicate the development to their existing customers to enable them to withdraw their assets from the platforms.
According to the Bangkok Post, the lack of adequate KYC processes and IT infrastructures were the reasons for the rejection.
Thailand Aiming to Become a Blockchain Hub
The country seems keen to follow in the footsteps of its neighbor, Singapore, which is the home to many blockchain projects and cryptocurrency exchanges.
Legalizing the trade of cryptocurrencies and licensing of the first batch of exchanges is a big step in that direction.
Jirayut Srupsrisopa, co-founder, Bitkub, told TechCrunch:
We can partner with traditional financial institutions, brokers, e-wallets, etc. to offer more financial products to customers. The bottleneck was the regulation.
Since China banned cryptocurrency trade in 2017, many Chinese exchanges moved to Singapore and Hong Kong. Entrepreneurs from China, South Korea, and other neighboring countries are preferring to set shop in Singapore because of regulatory uncertainty back home.
With the growing adoption of blockchain technology across the world and the crypto market expected to stage a comeback in 2019, the development may have come just at the right time for the Thai economy.
Thailand is a regional tourist destination and legalizing cryptocurrency trade will only help the country with an inflow of capital.
However, the nation faces still competition in the region. Singapore is already an established blockchain hub especially for projects looking to launch their ICOs, and Hong Kong is also emerging on the crypto landscape fast. Hong Kong is expected to grant licenses to cryptocurrency exchanges soon.
Do you think Thailand’s licensing four crypto exchanges will help it attract foreign investment? Let us know in the comments below.
Images courtesy of PxHere, DepositPhotos