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Crypto Exchanges Opening In Thailand, SEC Warns Approvals Needed

A growing number of companies are entering the cryptocurrency space in Thailand. However, they have not applied for approval from the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), prompting the regulator to issue several warnings against unapproved operators.

Companies Entering Thai Crypto Space

Since Thailand enacted its cryptocurrency regulations in May, a growing number of companies have been launching crypto exchanges and issuing tokens in the country.

Q Exchange, a joint venture between Thai and South Korean companies, has been promoting its services in Thailand with a plan to open the first “cryptocurrency bank” in the country, Channel 3 News reported. The company aims for its Thai operation to be the crypto exchange hub of Asean countries, the media outlet detailed, and quoted the company’s general manager explaining:

The goal is to open exchange branches nationwide of more than 30 branches in 2018 and increase to 70 branches in 2019.

South Korea-based cryptocurrency exchange Coin25 announced on Tuesday that it has set up a subsidiary in Bangkok and “is operating more than 60 branches in Thailand and Laos,” Business Korea reported. However, this exchange only offers the trading of its own token.

Mrc Biz Ltd. has also been promoting an initial coin offering (ICO) in Thailand, the Thai SEC revealed on Friday. Another company, Corexfly, announced that it was launching an exchange in Thailand back in August. “Corexfly has concluded an agreement with Korean exchange B&C to establish Dabit exchange in Thailand,” the company’s website states.

Furthermore, South Korea’s two largest cryptocurrency exchanges, Upbit and Bithumb, have also unveiled their plans to open exchanges in Thailand.

SEC Issues More Warnings

According to Thailand’s cryptocurrency regulations, companies wanting to conduct crypto business in the country must gain approval from the SEC, the main regulator of the country’s crypto industry. So far, only six crypto exchanges and one dealer have been temporarily approved while their applications are being reviewed.

The six exchanges are Bitcoin Co. Ltd. (Bx), Bitkub Online Co. Ltd., Cash2coins, Satang Corporation (Tdax), Coin Asset Co. Ltd., and Southeast Asia Digital Exchange Co. Ltd. (Seadex). Currently, Coins Th. is the only company that has been temporarily approved to operate as a cryptocurrency dealer. No approvals have been granted to new exchanges or token issuers.

The SEC has issued several warnings against unauthorized crypto businesses and tokens. Recently, it warned investors about Db Holdings Plc. and nine unauthorized tokens.

Q Exchange Ltd. also received a warning, the Thai SEC announced on Tuesday. The commission explained that while the company has not been granted approval, it has been advertising and soliciting customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies. The SEC has notified the exchange to stop advertising and selling investments in the country.

On Friday, the commission issued a warning against Mrc Biz Ltd. which has been promoting its ICO in Thailand without approval. The company has not submitted any applications to the SEC and has neither been approved to conduct crypto business nor issue tokens, the commission emphasized.

Rapee Sucharitakul, secretary-general of the Thai SEC, was quoted by Bangkok Biz News on Thursday saying that the commission expects the finance ministry to approve the applications of some companies to operate crypto businesses such as ICO portals, exchanges or dealers in December.

This story originally appeared in Bitcoin.

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