Thai Cryptocurrency Exchange Suspends Trading Due to SEC Conflict
Thai exchange TDAX has postponed registration and suspended trading while awaiting clear regulation framework from SEC, and has had its account closed for lack of proper license by Bangkok Bank.
SEC to Announce Regulations Soon
The Thai Digital Asset Exchange, a privately owned cryptocurrency exchange that recently completed an ICO for 100 million tokens, has announced it will postpone its corporate registration and any trading for two weeks while the Securities Exchange Commision (SEC) prepares to release its ICO regulations.
TDAX made the announcement despite having six ICO’s in the pipeline to postpone further trading until the release of the SEC’s regulations on March, 8 to be followed by the fintech bill.
The regulations are expected to focus on cryptocurrency exchanges that must be registered with the SEC.
Thereafter ICO’s must be launched through a portal that originates in Thailand with at least 5 million baht in capital.
Bangkok Bank Shuts Down Accounts
In related news, Bangkok Bank announced it will cease handling cryptocurrency transactions with TDAX and have closed their accounts due to what it says is an improper business license.
TDAX founder and chief executive Poramin Insom said the company registered its business with the Commerce Ministry’s Business Development Department as a digital currency business upon receiving an operating license.
“The bank called and asked whether there was an operating licence for proof, but I answered that this business was not under legal jurisdiction [hence the absence of an operating licence], so the bank said it would terminate the company’s bank account [with Bangkok Bank], as this business had no licence,”
TDAX has made a request to be allowed to close the account themselves noting the bank has no mandate to force clients to either open or close accounts.
TDAX, the second largest exchange in Thailand, currently has 5.5 million in reserves and are planning to raise more in order to apply for the SEC’s ICO license.
According to founder Poramin, TDAX continues to trade Bitcoin and 10 other currencies with three other Thai banks ( Kasikornbank (KBank), Siam Commercial Bank and Krungthai Bank) where customers can continue to conduct transactions.
Experts expect to see a significant amount of new exchanges to register in Thailand as interest in trading Bitcoin grows and Thais see some homegrown ICOs created.
Sources say that the SEC regulations are likely to cap individual investors at 300,000 baht though which will likely force serious players to look abroad.
“This amount for individual investors is very tiny. Hence, you will see many Thai startups registered in foreign countries such as Hong Kong and Singapore to raise funds outside of Thailand’s legal jurisdiction,” said an unnamed source.
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