Rich investors given Bitcoin green light
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Rich investors given Bitcoin green light

The SEC wants to observe spot Bitcoin ETF trading. (Photo: Patipat Janthong)
The SEC wants to observe spot Bitcoin ETF trading. (Photo: Patipat Janthong)

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to allow securities companies to offer trading of spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to institutional and high net worth (HNW) investors, but not retail investors.

InnovestX Securities revealed on its website the unit of SCB X Group can offer spot Bitcoin ETF trading to institutional and HNW investors after its recent discussion with the SEC.

The Thai regulator issued a statement on Tuesday that it had no plans to allow asset management firms to launch spot Bitcoin ETFs in Thailand, but did not elaborate on details.

"The SEC is concerned about limited investment understanding among retail investors who may rush to invest in digital assets," said Anek Yooyuen, deputy secretary-general of the SEC.

The regulator suggests retail investors interested in digital assets place orders through local digital asset exchange operators, which are licensed by the SEC and regulated under the Digital Asset Decree to protect investor benefits, he said.

"The US and Thai stock markets have different environments," said Mr Anek.

"We would like to see spot Bitcoin ETFs develop for a while, which is why we are barring retail investment."

In related news, the SEC plans to increase the capitalisation of digital asset exchange operators from 15 million baht to 25 million to support trading volume, noting it is an appropriate level for exchange operators to take care of customer assets.

The regulator is conducting a public hearing about the change.

"Assets placed at exchanges are at risk of being hacked or used," he said.

"If any damage occurs in the future, we want to ensure an exchange operator has sufficient funds to pay back the affected customers."

In addition, the SEC plans to require digital asset operators separate customer assets so they are held by a custodian company.

Three financial institutions applied for custodian licences and are under consideration.

Mr Anek said the SEC plans to facilitate more investment token issuance this year for green economy, soft power and asset-backed businesses.

Investment tokens are classified as securities, not digital assets, and are regulated under the SEC Act.

The issuer must submit investment disclosure filings in accordance with initial coin offering regulations.

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