Thailand Is One Of The Global Leaders In The Blockchain Space
Most governments around the globe are still making up their minds on blockchain while Thailand seems to have fully embraced the revolutionary technology.
Since 2017 the Thai government has become more candid and embracing of cryptocurrency projects and exchanges. Thai regulators have made a striking improvement, from beginning up cryptocurrency company licenses to permitting exchanges and ICOs. Additionally, the country has pulled international firms by presenting lucid and precise guidelines for foreign blockchain companies to run. It’s a model that we are seeing across most of Southeast Asia, and one that blockchain and cryptocurrency startup founders should take note as they think about global expansion.
To learn how a small country like Thailand can move so swiftly in the blockchain space, it’s imperative to know the approach of regulators and local companies. Unlike their western peers, most Asian blockchain companies and exchanges work with local regulators right from the beginning, even as they are first building their products and growing their communities. These organizations use formal and informal connections to get buy-in from their respective local governments in order to reinforce their reliability.
It isn’t just startups that are trying to curry ties with government officials, these relationships are symbiotic.
Let us look at the projects which exemplify the progress in Thailand.
- In June, Thailand’s government approved seven cryptocurrencies, namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar. It has also sanctioned a confined number of cryptocurrency exchanges and broker-dealers to apply for operating licenses.
- In July, the Thailand SEC authorized additional digital token issuers to file for applications. In the same month, the securities regulator categorized ICOs into three types: investment tokens, utility tokens, and cryptocurrency.
- Recently, the Thailand SEC held a discussion with Vitalik Buterin and the OmiseGo team on the status of exchanges and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). For Thailand, having a local, knowledgeable, and well-established team such as Omise is very helpful in building clear regulatory conditions for companies.
- In early July, Bithumb, the second largest cryptocurrency exchange in Korea, proclaimed that it intends to open in Thailand after receiving the required regulatory go-ahead from the local government.
- Last week, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) described an introductory roadmap for ‘Project Inthanon,’ its central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative. This is following similar projects initiated by other central banks, including the Bank of Canada, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Monetary Authority of Singapore. BoT plans to work with eight participating banks to start building a prototype.
In the near future, it’s certainly probable for many cryptocurrency and blockchain companies to grow a codependency with their respective local government. This doesn’t just apply only to Thailand but to the rest of world too. Each region’s regulators will want to further promote their own interest and form collaborations with local token companies.
As Thailand shows, the ground is changing rapidly on which countries are most open for blockchain and cryptocurrency business, and adjusting to these growing market dynamics is crucial to the progress of startups and companies.