By Staff Writer
Huobi Thailand, a unit of the eponymous global crypto exchange, has become the fifth licensed digital asset exchange in Thailand to be regulated under the royal decree governing digital assets that went into effect in May.
The new license allows it to operate digital asset trading in compliance and permits it to start local fiat trading and token trading services, according to a statement.
The latest move is part of Thailand’s effort to provide regularity and legal clarity on digital assets to provide a safe investment environment for investors while fostering innovation around the blockchain industry.
In May 2018, Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), which regulates digital assets industry, announced that all companies in Thailand involved in digital asset business would only operate after receiving the license. It also required existing companies with related businesses to submit applications for licenses within 90 days.
In January, after four months of approval period, Bitcoin Exchange, Bitkub Online, Satang Corporation and a digital asset broker successfully received the licenses, while the applications of three other companies were denied.
On May 14, the new regulatory framework governing digital assets — named Royal Decree on Digital Asset Businesses B.E. 2561 (2018) — finally went into effect, creating one of the clearest regulatory frameworks governing crypto assets in the region till date.
The decree clearly defines and classifies of digital assets, the business scope of virtual currency, and the subject and authority of supervision. In addition, the new ruling also outlines strict prohibition against insider trading and market manipulation and sets punishments for violators.
Besides crypto trading, Thailand’s government is also actively exploring other blockchain applications. In August, the Bank of Thailand announced the development of Intanon, its official virtual currency.
Intanon would be based on the distributed ledger technology developed by R3 and CORDA platform, which aimed to use blockchain technology to improve the efficiency of interbank payments. Eight commercial banks in Thailand, including Standard Chartered Bank of Thailand and HSBC, announced support for the project.
The Stock Exchange of Thailand also has plans to issue its own stablecoin, a digital currency pegged to real-world assets, to be used for clearing and settlement and to better manage the volatility risks of cryptocurrencies (see here).
Huobi has operations in a number of countries. Its strategic partner in the United States holds money service business as well as money transmitter licenses in 12 states. In Japan, Huobi has obtained No.0007 exchange license. In addition, Huobi has obtained one of the first DLT licenses in Gibraltar.