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Soon after Thailand adopted its regulations for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs), companies reportedly pile up to apply for licenses to operate in the country. According to the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission, about 50 ICO projects are seeking to launch, five portals plan to open for business and 20 crypto exchanges have applied for a license.
Preliminary Surge – 20 Exchanges, 50 ICOs
Thailand’s regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and ICOs went into effect on July 16. The Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the main regulator of the country’s crypto industry, began accepting applications for crypto licenses on July 24.
On Wednesday, the SEC revealed the number of companies that have applied for various licenses or are interested in applying, local media reported.
According to Mr. Rapee Sucharitakul, the SEC secretary-general, about 50 projects have shown interest in issuing tokens. Five companies are interested in becoming ICO portals, three of which have already applied. As for crypto exchanges, citing that “license approvals are being processed,” the Bangkok Post quoted him saying:
There are also around 20 companies that have applied for licenses to operate as digital asset exchanges.
Coin Asset’s ATM
Among companies that have applied for a license is Coin Asset, a six-month-old Thai crypto exchange with about 10,000 users. The exchange currently processes approximately 2-3 million baht (~US$ 60,186 – $ 90,279) daily, CEO Suvanus Yamdee told Prachachat Turakij newspaper.
The company has a 90-day temporary license to operate an exchange while its application with the SEC is being reviewed, the publication noted.
The exchange has also applied for a license to operate crypto ATMs, which it unveiled last week. Claiming that the ATM is the first of its kind among Asean countries, Mr. Suvanus explained that it supports multiple fiat currencies – the baht, euros, yuan, and dollars. With a minimum transaction amount of 100 baht (~$ 3), the ATM allows customers to buy and sell BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XMR, and DASH.
If approved, the team plans to install the ATMs at Thailand’s major international airports, Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang, as well as in Chiang Mai.
Bright Crypto Future
When a company files for a crypto business license in Thailand, the “market regulator will forward documents to the finance ministry within 90 days,” the Bangkok Post described. The finance ministry will make a decision within 60 days.
Applicants must meet a number of criteria such as being a listed firm in Thailand and having the required paid-up capital, the news outlet explained. “The directors, executives and company shareholders must also have SEC approval.”
Thuntee Sukchotrat, the CEO of Jibex, a local exchange backed by IT company J.I.B. Computer Group, was quoted saying:
I believe that investors will invest in digital assets instead of stocks in the future…The investment ratio of ICOs to stocks will be on par within two years.
This week, the country’s central bank also green-lighted subsidiaries of financial institutions for crypto activities.
Do you think many more crypto companies will apply for licenses in Thailand? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Prachachat Turakij.
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The post Crypto Friendly Policies Rapidly Drawing Companies to Thailand appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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Thailand’s central bank has announced the rules under which financial institutions, including commercial banks, and their subsidiaries can engage in cryptocurrency activities. They include securities, asset management, and insurance firms. This follows the country’s crypto regulatory framework that went into effect last month.
New Circular, New Rules
Thailand’s central bank, the Bank of Thailand (BOT), issued a circular dated August 1 to all financial institutions in the country, informing them of its new crypto policies.
Citing that the country now has a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICO), the BOT canceled its previous circular issued in February. At that time, the central bank asked financial institutions to refrain from getting involved in certain types of crypto activities.
In its new circular, the Bank of Thailand outlines the conditions under which financial institutions and their subsidiaries can now engage in activities involving cryptocurrencies and digital tokens.
The rules can be divided into two broad categories: those that apply to financial institutions and those that apply to their subsidiaries.
Rules for Subsidiaries
Within a financial institution’s group of companies, there are usually subsidiaries offering financial products and services such as brokerage, asset management, insurance, and life insurance. These companies have their own regulatory bodies. For example, brokerage firms comply with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) whereas insurance firms comply with the Thai Office of Insurance Commission (OIC).
The BOT says these companies are now permitted to engage in crypto businesses including issuing digital tokens and investing in cryptocurrencies, providing they follow the rules set by their respective regulators.
New subsidiaries wanting to engage in crypto activities, however, must apply for approval from the BOT through their parent companies. They will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The parent companies must be responsible for overseeing and managing the overall risks associated with the proposed crypto activities for the whole group and at individual subsidiaries. The central bank explains that they must also ensure that the subsidiaries follow regulatory guidelines including anti-money laundering (AML), combating the financing of terrorism (CFT), IT security, and consumer protection.
Rules for Financial Institutions
The rules for financial institutions, which include commercial banks, are much more strict.
Citing that the crypto industry is still young and therefore difficult to clearly assess and manage associated risks, the BOT believes that customer confidence and the country’s financial system as a whole could be affected by financial institutions holding cryptocurrencies. It then proceeded to list four areas that financial institutions must not engage in.
Firstly, they cannot issue digital tokens or provide any service selling them. Secondly, they cannot invest in digital assets which includes “both tokens and cryptocurrencies,” the BOT specifies.
They also must not engage in crypto businesses, including as exchanges, brokers, or dealers. Lastly, they cannot solicit or give advice on crypto investments to anyone that is not an institutional or accredited investor as defined by the SEC.
However, according to Krungthep Turakij publication, financial institutions can issue or invest in cryptocurrencies for the purpose of developing or improving their services to customers by applying for the regulatory sandbox.
What do you think of the Bank of Thailand’s latest crypto rules? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Bank of Thailand.
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The post Bank of Thailand Green-Lights Financial Companies for Crypto Activities appeared first on Bitcoin News.
The Russian crypto sector is expanding. The number of businesses operating mining facilities has increased this year, more Russians own cryptocurrency. Data confirming these trends has been presented by the country’s crypto and blockchain association, which also warned that delayed embrace of digital financial technology costs Russia a trillion rubles each year.
75,000 Businesses Mine Cryptocurrencies in Russia
The Russian Federation, a vast country rich in energy resources including cheap electricity, has what it takes to become a major crypto mining destination. Recently released statistics show that this modern sector of the economy is rapidly developing.
The number of crypto mining companies has increased by 15% in H1 2018 to a total of 75,000, according to the Russian Association of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain (RACIB). Quoted by the Prime news agency, the association’s president, Yuri Pripachkin, summarized:
According to the results from the first half of this year, the number of mining enterprises in Russia has increased by 15%, to 75,000. The mining industry already employs 350,000 people. As of July 2018, Russia accounts for about 6% of the world’s mining market, which is 1% more than a year ago, while the US and Canada hold the leading positions.
Pripachkin shared the numbers with reporters on the sidelines of the first meeting of the Council on the Digital Economy of the Federation Council, the upper house of Russia’s parliament. Not everything in his comments, however, sounded optimistic. RACIB’s president warned that Russia actually risks missing the opportunity to become a digital financial leader. He stressed that “digital money is already a given” and Russia’s delay in accepting and adopting it “means a loss of investments of up to 1 trillion rubles a year” (>$ 15 million USD).
To prove his point, Yuri Pripachkin quoted a Morgan Stanley report, according to which the top five countries by trading volume of cryptocurrencies in H1 2018 are Malta, Belize, the Seychelles, the United States, and South Korea, and by number of crypto exchanges – the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, the US, Singapore, and Turkey. Russia is not in either of these groups, he noted. At the same time, RACIB claims the number of Russians owning cryptocurrency has increased this year from 2.5 to 3 million.
Russian Crypto Sector Expects Regulations This Fall
The newly released data confirms what is already obvious – the Russian crypto industry is developing at a fast pace, despite the lack of comprehensive regulations. The final adoption of three bills aimed at legalizing crypto transactions and activities has been postponed until the fall session of the State Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament.
In July, Russian crypto media published information about the employment and remuneration in the fintech sector. According to the statistics, the average salary in the industry has fallen by 40% from the 2017 record levels but, nevertheless, it remains relatively high for Russian standards, 10 times higher than the country’s average for certain professionals.
Earlier, RACIB announced that 70,000 Russians are employed in the crypto sector, a figure that obviously excludes those hired by mining companies. Meanwhile, Russian job search platforms have registered strong demand for crypto and blockchain experts, including PR specialists, software developers, and project managers. Responding to the need for qualified professionals, a number of Russian universities have started offering educational courses and postgraduate programs on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
What are your expectations for the future of the crypto industry in Russia? Tell us in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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The post Russia Reports 15% Increase in Number of Crypto Mining Companies appeared first on Bitcoin News.
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