SET readies digital plan
The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) is studying a plan to jump-start the digital asset ecosystem, aiming to integrate traditional and digital exchanges and attract new fund-raising schemes via a new trading platform.
With the rising popularity of digital assets and cryptocurrency exchanges, global bourses have recognised that these could disrupt traditional securities trading if there is no plan to handle such disruption.
In the US, bitcoin futures began trade on two of the world's key derivatives exchanges, the Chicago Board Options Exchange and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, in December 2017.
Amid constant changes in innovation and technology, the Thai bourse realises that digital assets will become a growing investment trend going forward.
"We are now studying a digital asset ecosystem, which not only serves as a digital exchange, but also includes other aspects of digital assets such as e-wallet, initial coin offering (ICO) portal and tokenisation," said SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai. "A digital asset exchange will be providing these services in full.
"The business we want to operate in the future is not a traditional exchange system, but rather a utilities platform that can serve people who want to use or connect capital market applications, similar to a power station to which any application can connect."
At present, the SET is only in the proof-of-concept stage and the bourse is talking with two or three other exchanges about the potential to link the digital ecosystem in the future.
Market concerns surrounding digital asset exchanges include how such exchanges incorporate a decentralised system in which there is no need for intermediaries such as stock exchanges, brokers and dealers, Mr Pakorn said.
"We recognise this trend and are formulating a plan. We have a policy of finding partners and opening a platform. The SET and other 2-3 medium-sized bourses are studying the concept to handle such disruption," he said, reiterating that "our plan is not to revolt, but to evolve our trading platform and other services".
Mr Pakorn said digital exchanges are challenging medium-sized stock exchanges, which are undertaking a new approach to survive amid intensifying competition.