TechCecille de Jesus
Thailand’s stock exchange launches blockchain-based crowdfunding platform
Thailand has been open to ICO’s as a fundraising scheme, and the SET president believes this will boost economic growth for the country.
Thailand has been welcoming blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies—although with a certain amount of regulation. Last year, the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recognized ICO’s as a viable fundraising method for tech start-ups, saying “the SEC Thailand encourages access to funding for business, including high potential tech startups, and realizes the potential of ICO in answering startups’ funding needs.” The country has been moving swiftly with cryptocurrency regulation and tax rates since.
And last Friday, the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) released a statement announcing the official launch of LiVE, the first blockchain-based crowdfunding platform for SME’s and start-ups. This announcement confirms earlier reports by the Bangkok Post, although regulation over the platform is vague. Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak said earlier that the marketplace will not be regulated.
“It will be a ‘marketplace’, not a miniature of the SET and the MAI, where investors generally believe that securities traded are well-selected and regulated. As it is not a trading board, there is no regulator to verify their quality and investors must make investments by themselves,” the Prime Minister said of the platform.
Although the SEC may be taking a more hands-off approach to the platform, they do enforce a layer of risk aversion. Registered companies can only join the platform if their founders have clean records, and are cleared by certified auditors through financial statement audits. Investors are also screened and can only qualify if they earn a minimum of THB 4 million or own at least THB 50 million worth of assets, and at least a year’s worth of investing experience.
SET President Kesara Manchusree believes the move will help bolster economic growth in Thailand as it expands the reach for both investors and businesses.
“SET is determined to offer growth opportunities through the creation of a complete startup ecosystem, inclusively from the business management education for startup and SME entrepreneurs, to assistance in connecting with institutional and accredited investors. ‘LiVE’ platform will be a key mechanism to help drive forward Thailand’s growth especially enabling startups and SMEs to have more financial accesses through crowdfunding. Businesses can utilize LiVE to promote to a wider target group while using partnership to expand customer base. In addition, this platform also offers opportunities for investors, both individual and corporate, who are qualified by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations, to select to invest in their preferred business with growth potential,” Kesara said.
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