The Thailand Stock Exchange (SET) plans to launch a digital asset trading platform in the second half of 2021, but it will not contain cryptocurrencies.
The headline in the Bangkok Post, “Digital asset trading is imminent” may at first glance be optimistic for the industry in the region, but the report notes that the exchange does not want to include cryptocurrencies:
“The SET says that cryptocurrencies do not match product qualifications and could facilitate money laundering, while the stock exchange’s image as a high-trust exchange would be damaged.”
The exchange has set three criteria for listing asset-backed tokens from approved companies. First, the token must have an underlying asset that investors can “analyze for value”. It must be a “valuable product that supports economic activities” and the product must “have benefits for society and the environment”.
Kasikorn Business Technology Group (KBTG), a branch of Kasikorn Bank that has worked closely with the SET on blockchain projects, will be responsible for sourcing and reviewing products that enter the new market.
SET Executive Vice President Kitti Sutthiatthasil said that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin do not meet any of the set criteria. He cited money laundering as a major concern and said currency stability was also the reason for the omission:
“Thailand has a strong economy. As inflation has remained low and the Bank of Thailand’s measures to stabilize the baht have been successful in the past, the SET currently has no reason to support cryptocurrencies. “
In reality, Thailand’s economy, which is heavily reliant on tourism, has been hit hard for the past 12 months due to the Covid-19 outbreak and the kingdom is largely closed to foreigners.
Thai exchanges ordered to form
In related news, Bitkub, Thailand’s largest crypto asset exchange, was tasked by the Securities and Exchange Commission to shape itself after a series of prolonged outages during the recent rally.
According to The Bangkok Post, the Bitkub desktop trading platform was shut down on Tuesday, January 19, by order of the SEC, which revised the crypto rules in November. Financial regulators gave the company five days to fix issues that crashed the platform three times this month due to spikes in trading activity.
Bitkub currently has a 97% share of the Thai market based on account volume and daily trading. The company reported that the total number of active accounts rose to nearly 800,000 in the first week of January, while the volume rose to as much as $ 50 million a day.
At the time of writing, Thailand’s leading crypto exchange was still offline and investors and traders do not have access to their funds.