The National Legislative Assembly of Thailand has approved an amendment to the Securities and Exchange Act that may allow for stocks and bonds to be tokenized and issued on a blockchain platform, according to a February 22 report from The Bangkok Post.
Prior to this amendment, the Securities and Exchange Act only allowed the Thailand Securities Depository Co Ltd. – a subsidiary of Thailand's stock exchange – to trade and hold "scripless securities." (This refers to securities without a physical certificate) Now, any businesses that wish to operate a digital token or securities depository will be able to "apply for depository licenses."
The amended act will also allow companies undergoing fundraising efforts such as initial coin offerings (ICOs) and security token offerings (STOs) to issue tokenized securities to their investors over a blockchain platform. However, an STO may be regulated under the digital asset royal decree based on whether the token falls under the decree's definition of a security or digital token.
Per the Post, the Thailand SEC has already amended the act and will provide further guidance and regulations in the coming months. "The implementation of the tokenisation platform is expected to become effective this year," said Thailand SEC deputy secretary-general Tipsuda Thavaramara.
This move is the latest in Thailand's push to incorporate cryptocurrency and blockchain technology into its financial industry. In June 2018, the Bank of Thailand revealed it had been researching the benefits blockchain technology could bring to the country's banking industry. In August 2018, the central bank announced plans to develop and experiment with a prototype of a central bank digital currency. And just last month, Thailand's Ministry of Finance granted digital asset business licenses to four digital currency exchanges.