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Thailand Approves Spot Bitcoin ETFs for Institutional, UHNWIs

You'll soon be able to participate in Bitcoin ETFs in Thailand... If you're super rich.

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Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has greenlit private funds for Bitcoin ETFs.

Pornanong Budsaratragoon, the SEC’s secretary-general, said the approval only applies to institutional investors and ultra-high-net-worth individuals.

The SEC determined that spot Bitcoin ETFs are classified as securities, not digital assets. This allows Thai securities firms to be involved in these investments.

Digital asset ETFs are not covered by regulations that govern traditional asset management firms. Pornanong said the SEC had to adjust regulations to unlock spot Bitcoin ETF investments through private funds.

Can Crypto Save a Slowing Thai Economy?
As Thailand strives for economic recovery in 2024, can its crypto-friendly, tax-free approach serve as a driver to reach its goals? Also, read on for special discount codes for Money 20/20 Asia, and Onchain 2024, both taking place in Bangkok in April!

“Asset management firms asked the SEC for them to have exposure in digital assets, especially bitcoin and spot bitcoin ETFs, but we need to consider carefully whether to allow asset management firms to invest in digital assets directly due to the high risk,” said Pornanong.

The move aims to cater to the increase in demand for exposure in the asset class. The SEC is considering extending the investment to individual investors in the future.

Pornanong said the SEC board has also approved measures to upgrade the stock market supervisory and new listing rules by the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). These measures encompass overseeing short selling transactions, naked short selling, program trading, high frequency trading, and mitigating stock price volatility.

Approval from the Thai SEC comes as Bitcoin reaches new highs of $72K.

Thailand has taken a proactive approach to cryptocurrency. In a push for Thailand to become a digital asset hub, the country's Finance Ministry announced the exemption of value-added tax (VAT) on digital asset trading last month.

Paopoom Rojanasakul, secretary to the finance minister, said the ministry intends to promote digital assets as an alternative means of fundraising, as well as to support Thailand's digital economy.

In January, Thailand's SEC published an update to its framework that fosters the growth of its digital asset market.

In the update, the SEC removed retail investors' limits for tokens backed by real-world assets (RWA) such as real estate or infrastructure. Previously, there was a 300,000 baht cap on offerings in asset-backed ICOs.

Thailand's crypto-friendly approach is attracting a slew of digital asset-related activity in the country.

In December, Binance unveiled a crypto exchange in Thailand in partnership with Gulf Energy's subsidiary Gulf Innova.

The pair's joint venture, Gulf Binance, launches Binance TH's full operations in the country with access to the general public.

Binance Launches Thai Crypto Exchange With Gulf Energy
Binance TH is a fully accredited platform authorized by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)

Onchain 2024

Meanwhile, Saison Capital, a Singapore-based venture capital firm and subsidiary of Saison International, has announced the inaugural launch of ONCHAIN 2024, marking Asia's first RWA conference.

Innovation in RWAs: Blockhead Collaborates with ONCHAIN 2024 for Bangkok Conference
Led by Saison Capital together with Evertas, D3 Labs and HELIX, ONCHAIN 2024, held in Bangkok on 26 April 2024, aims to advance the exchange of knowledge and innovations on the intersection between traditional finance and Web3 technology.

Taking place on 26 April 2024, 9 am - 5 pm (ICT), in SO/Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, the event features an impressive lineup of speakers and attendees from TradFi institutions including Citibank, Standard Chartered, SCBx, Woori Bank, and SBI Holdings, as well as real-world asset (RWA) leaders including Helicap Group, Evertas, HELIX, D3 Labs, OpenEden and Rakkar Digital. 

“The trend of tokenizing RWAs has gained momentum in 2023 despite depressed markets across traditional finance and crypto," said Qin En Looi, Partner at Saison Capital. 

"The launch of ONCHAIN 2024 aims to bring more partners into the conversation to shape the financial ecosystem of the future."

Early bird tickets, priced at S$99, are available now. But as the exclusive supporting partner for ONCHAIN 2024, we've got an exclusive 20% discount on tickets for the Blockhead family. Simply use the promo code 'blockhead' at checkout to unlock this special offer.

Money 20/20 Asia

Money20/20 Asia is making its way to Bangkok this April! Rub shoulders with 3000+ of the greatest minds in the money ecosystem, from crypto and Web3 to fintech, startups, investors, and beyond.

Expect game-changing connections and boundary-pushing content from this year’s edition - over 120 speakers from companies like Bitkub (Thailand’s largest crypto exchange), Asia Crypto Alliance and BitRock Capital are already on board to talk about the future of money in Asia.

Money20/20 Asia Unveils Lineup for April Conference in Bangkok
Rub shoulders with 3000+ of the greatest minds in the money ecosystem, from crypto and Web3 to fintech, startups, investors, and beyond, on April 23-25. Also, read on for special discount codes for the event!