SET Thailand Opens Cryptocurrency Crowdfunding Stock Market: LIVE Marketplace & Complete Startup Ecosystem
In an era where hundreds of countries all over the world seek to regulate and reevaluate their policies on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), Thailand has taken action to embrace the massive industry created from domestic blockchain startups. Specifically, the Stock Exchange of Thailand has announced its intention to launch its own crowdfunding market on the Thailand stock market.
LiVE is functionally a new stock market comprised entirely of blockchain-based crowdfunding operations. The creators of the platform elaborated to say that the offerings of this exchange will be extensive and varied; from business management education to venture capitalist investment opportunities, LiVE purports to provide potential startups with everything they need to explore this new avenue of funding.
SET News: “SET officially launches “LiVE” platform with blockchain technology to grow startups”
— SET Thailand (@SET_Thailand) May 4, 2018
The platform is rapidly gaining support, too. Recent reports show that eight companies have joined the initial run of LiVE, and that fifty additional companies are currently working to join. This massive private support for the stock exchange’s new program comes as no surprise. Thailand has been unremittingly supportive of the blockchain economic ecosystem, and this newest invention seems to ratify their interest in subsidizing and expanding the already-growing ICO market for startups.
President Manchusree cites their desire to incentivize growth as one of the key reasons for his administration’s institutional support of the project. While acknowledging the inherent benefits of a crowdfunding method of obtaining money for promising startups, the leader feels that LiVE allows businesses to “promote to a wider target group.”
This is likely true. Institutional support of select cryptocurrency, blockchain-based businesses is the key to involving a larger number of potential investors in the market. Governmental regulation an endorsement of some startups adds a level of legitimacy that the current ICO market severely lacks. Companies can look towards the new LiVE marketplace as an opportunity to reach out to investors that otherwise might be to skittish to become financially entangled in the ICO world.
The release of this platform has been anticipated for quite some time. An article from CoinDesk last year found that the government had announced the plan in March of 2017, and that over 600 different companies said that they might be interested in advertising themselves on the finished product.
Authorities do want to stress, however, that LiVE is not the same as an ICO. In a strategic distinction, the government makes this case because many companies are likely to want to avoid the massive taxes placed on ICOs by the federal government. Over 22 percent of overall revenues by ICO-based startups are claimed by the new tax system. It is likely this financial imperative that inspires so many companies to jump onto the opportunity presented by the institutionally-backed LiVE system.
The tax decisions came as a surprise in early March of this year. Finance Minister Apisak Tantivorawong cited the increasing amounts of investor fraud and scams on the ICO market as a key reason necessitating governmental intervention.
The government of Thailand has been clear that the new laws are not intended to dissuade the creation of ICO companies, but instead to protect investors from rampant fraud. This seems to be in-line with their choice to back the creation of LiVE as well. The Thailand government’s recent actions seem to paint a clear narrative for regulated support for a massive and constantly-growing cryptocurrency economy.