Digital asset scope may grow

Digital asset scope may grow

SEC looks into giving firms service options

Logo of Securities and Exchange Commission building, Vibhavadi Rangsit Rd.
Logo of Securities and Exchange Commission building, Vibhavadi Rangsit Rd.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is conducting a public hearing to expand the scope of businesses under the digital asset royal decree.

Digital asset advisers and digital asset fund managers are the additional businesses pending official approval, said the SEC statement.

These businesses are categorised into two types: digital tokens and cryptocurrency.

Existing operating licences under the digital asset royal decree cover digital asset exchanges, digital asset traders and digital asset dealers.

Securities companies have expressed interest or discussed the possibility of offering services such as digital asset advisers and fund managers with the SEC. These companies can provide attractive investment assets to customers and invest according to policies agreed upon with customers.

The market regulator has also been notified about incentives to entice people to invest in digital assets that could be fraudulent.

"The SEC intends to improve the criteria to be consistent with the situation. This will expand the scope of [investor] protection and effectiveness as well as close legal loopholes causing damages or inappropriate services to the public," said the SEC.

Some investors have received inappropriate investment advice, while there are ads claiming to generate high returns from digital asset investment. Advertising on online platforms has high exposure.

Determining qualifications, conditions and the procedure for obtaining operating licences for the new businesses will be in line with the existing digital asset licences, according to the SEC.

Licence fees for applicants vying to become digital token and cryptocurrency advisers will be valued at 15,000 baht each, while licence fees for digital token and cryptocurrency fund managers are worth 500,000 baht each.

Licence fees are waived for applicants who already have licences to operate as financial advisers and fund managers overseeing private and mutual funds.

Under the royal decree on digital assets that took effect on May 14, 2018, there are four types of secondary business intermediaries: digital exchanges, brokerage firms, dealers and token portal service providers, also known as initial coin offering (ICO) portals.

Exchanges, brokers and dealers are required to apply for licences from the Finance Ministry, while ICO portals must be approved by the SEC.

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