Thai Securities Regulators Seek 'Appropriate' Rules for ICOs

NEWS
Stan Higgins
Sep 14, 2017 at 16:15 UTC  |  Updated  Sep 14, 2017 at 16:34 UTC

Securities regulators in Thailand have issued a new statement on initial coin offerings (ICOs), advising that some token tales may fall under the country's definition of a securities offering.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand (SEC Thailand) said today that that "some (ICOs) may resemble financial returns, rights and obligation," thus triggering the relevant regulations. It also expressed concern that, in some cases, token sales may be used to facilitate fraud against unwitting investors.

At the same time, SEC Thailand hinted at a more accommodative stance compared to other jurisdictions – mostly notably China, which issued a ban on the funding model earlier this month.

The agency said:

"The SEC Thailand encourages access to funding for businesses, including high potential tech startups, and realizes the potential of ICO in answering startups' funding needs. In cases where an ICO constitutes offering of securities, the issuer will need to comply with applicable regulatory requirements under the SEC Thailand's purview."

Notably – perhaps echoing statements that came from Canada's securities regulators last month – SEC Thailand suggested that it may carve out policy accommodations for some token sales, though it is too early in that process to tell what approach the agency might ultimately take.

"...to strike the balance between supporting digital innovation and protecting investors from potential ICO scams, the SEC Thailand is considering appropriate approaches on ICO and welcomes comments and suggestions from the private sector," the statement read.

The past weeks have seen a spate of similar announcements from securities regulators around the world, including Canada, Singapore and the US, among others.

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