Thailand’s SEC to scrap $8,800 limit for retail investment in ICOs

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to lift the limit for retail investors who want to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs) to boost asset-backed digital investments in the country.

Per recent regulations, a retail investor may only invest up to THB 300,000 ($8,800) in a particular digital token offering. In an official announcement, the Thai securities regulator indicated its willingness to soften the current restriction to fuel investments in real estate and infrastructure backed ICOs.

The SEC opened an open hearing to get public opinion about its plan to remove the investment limit and allow individuals to buy more of the ICOs, noting that the new set of rules would increase investors’ risk exposure.

Additionally, the SEC is preparing to require digital asset operators apply for permission from the regulator to expand to other businesses, with additional costs for compliance with the bew regulations to apply.

“The revision of the regulation is aimed at enhancing effective monitoring of digital asset operations and reducing risks that might affect investors, digital asset operators and the market,” the statement reads.

The development comes shortly after the SEC announced plans to place a ban on providing crypto staking and lending services to clients. The watchdog is cracking down on digital asset depository services in the aftermath of crypto lending platforms’ crashes experienced earlier last year. Several regulators have warned in recent weeks that many more DeFi platforms are on the verge of facing a collapse.

As such, Thailand’s SEC has stepped in to ensure maximum protection for local investors and minimize the general public’s risks when interacting with the sector. It explains that these unexplored and uncharted technologies put consumers at risk, where the lack of regulation often covers fraud, completely illegitimate claims about valuation, and very often speculation, as well as criminal dealings.

The SEC proposes to prohibit crypto business operators from “taking deposits of digital assets and further using those digital assets to borrow and invest to pay the depositors.: It also plans to ban advertising or soliciting “the general public or conducting any activities that would support deposit-taking or lending services. Prohibiting the digital business operators from accepting digital assets and paying returns to the depositors.”

The Southeast Asian nation has recently published a series of new regulations for crypto businesses, some of which were restrictions that have sparked public outrage. Most recently, it has proposed new guidelines that would govern custody of digital assets held by cryptocurrency operators.

The current rules already require crypto exchanges to share the information of users with regulators, whenever funds are transferred between firms, to curtain a growing number of illicit activities stemming under the guise of the global cryptocurrency industry.