SET to kick off digital operations next year

SET to kick off digital operations next year

SET officials say they are on schedule to make the SET a fully digital platform inside a year. (File photo)
SET officials say they are on schedule to make the SET a fully digital platform inside a year. (File photo)

The Stock Exchange of Thailand plans to commence digital asset trading operations on a new exchange next year, with core infrastructure projected to be completed in the third quarter.

SET president Pakorn Peetathawatchai said the bourse will develop a digital asset ecosystem or endto-end platform for digital assets by structuring core infrastructure such as the issuing process, asset tokenisation, trading systems, settlement systems, e-wallet and custody providers.

The SET needs to apply for licences to operate all types of services for a digital exchange, and the bourse may join hands with partners experienced in digital asset trade, Mr Pakorn said.

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 Securities and Exchange Commission.

E-wallet and custody providers involved with security and trading information are among the most crucial parts of the digital asset trading system, Mr Pakorn said.

The digital asset exchange will be the future of the SET, which goes hand-in-hand with developing the traditional exchange, he said.

“The SET will develop a digital trading platform and will be open in 2020,” he said. “Market trust, good trading process and the digital asset ecosystem will increase long-term market competitiveness.”

Designing the digital asset exchange will take 3-4 months to complete, while building core infrastructure is expected to conclude in the third quarter, Mr Pakorn said.

“We have to prepare to transform to a digital asset exchange now, because the world is changing fast, and waiting may be too late to be competitive,” he said.

Among the initiatives to develop digital asset operations, the SET will have a meeting with market participants on March 27 to brainstorm ideas and listen to opinions from all stakeholders before structuring the new digital exchange platform.

Stakeholders who will join the meeting include market regulators, banks, securities firms, asset management firms, issuers, custodians and fintech firms.

The digital asset trading platform and the planned ecosystem will serve all types of digital asset products, including cryptocurrencies, digital tokens, ICOs and securities token offerings, said SET executive vicepresident Kitti Sutthiatthasil.

The platform will be designed as an open trading platform that can easily connect with other trading platforms in the future, Mr Kitti said.

For 2019, Thailand’s capital market will be transformed towards digitalisation through developing infrastructure necessary for digital asset trading, Mr Pakorn said.

These include opening scripless accounts with personal identification, payment for revenue stamps for appointing brokers and allowing banking electronic payments.

The SET’s FundConnext will be connected to Clearstream, a post-trade services provider, to link with 56 other global markets worldwide.

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