Today, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published new rules impacting digital asset businesses and tokenization. It is lifting restrictions on consumer investors for two classes of tokenized real world assets (RWA) – real estate and infrastructure.
Now retail investors can participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs) for real estate backed tokens or those linked to real estate revenues. Previously, there was a 300,000 baht ($8,415) restriction. It also removed the limits for infrastructure ICOs.
The aim is to balance investor protection with raising funds for “national development.”
The SEC also outlined rules for digital asset businesses wanting to operate additional business lines. They have to first get approval from the SEC.
The high level criteria the SEC will use to assess the new business include whether the new revenues:
- benefit the core digital asset business,
- doesn’t create a conflict of interest with the digital asset business,
- doesn’t pose risks to customer assets. Alternatively, there’s a system to control risks adequately.
Additionally, the SEC rolled out new rules for digital asset custody businesses that are part of a group of companies. The aim is to prevent conflicts of interest if the custody firm has common shareholders with the digital asset business.
Finally, digital asset firms can’t provide their services via other firms where the owners have been sanctioned or accused of digital asset violations, such as operating an unregistered business.
Meanwhile, the new Thai government made a 500 billion baht ($14 billion) digital currency giveaway pledge during the recent elections. However, it’s getting significant pushback about its plans on the grounds that there is no economic crisis justifying the giveaway. A key issue is the need to borrow funds to hand out the digital currency, with the Council of State saying this might violate fiscal laws. There are also concerns about funding the loan repayment. While the government is still pursuing the project, these delays mean it won’t happen before May.