New regulations for digital asset exchanges issued

The Securities and Exchange Commission released new regulations in line with the Royal Decree issued last month for cryptocurrencies. All participants, including ICO issuers, digital exchanges, brokers and dealers involved with digital asset transactions, are required to register with the SEC and must also receive permission from the Ministry of Finance; the deadline for license applications is August 14. Issuers must make clear what kinds of tokens are being issued as well as investment information before they can obtain permission. The fee for digital assets dealers is 2 million baht and brokerage firms 2.5 million baht, in addition there will be an annual fee that will be a small percentage of the trading volume. Digital exchanges with a centralized exchange will need 50 million baht in registered capital while a decentralized exchange will need 10 million baht. Brokers for centralized exchanges will need 25 million baht in capital and for decentralized exchanges 5 million baht. The SEC will allow seven cryptocurrencies, used for initial coin offerings (ICOs), to be traded as trading pairs; bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, ethereum classic, litecoin, ripple, and stellar. Each initial coin offering can be offered to institutional and ultra-high-net-worth investors at an unlimited investment amount, but investment is capped at 300,000 baht per person for retail investors per person and per ICO, or no more than 70 percent of the total value of tokens offered.

Low cost carrier NokScoot, a joint venture between Nok Air and Singapore-based Scoot reported a 32.9 percent jump in revenues with profits reaching 37.1 million baht in the first quarter, up nearly 10 million baht from the same period last year. The company, which flies out of Don Mueang, has launched a new flight to Narita Airport in Tokyo as well as serving Dalian, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenyang, Tianjin and Xian in China, and Taipei, Taiwan. The airline, which expects to see passenger numbers jump 76 percent in 2018, is planning to debut new routes to Japan, South Korea and India later this year.

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has been ordered to begin implementation of 5G by 2020 and will include implementing the NBTC's spectrum allocation roadmap for a variety of spectrum ranges as well as developing the infrastructure. AIS has only set aside 25 billion baht in 2018 for network capacity expansion after spending 120 billion baht from 2015 – 2017, but believes once 5G is in place will spend heavily to retain its competitive edge. Currently Thailand has 121 million mobile phone users with 40 million of those using their phones to access the internet. The value of e-commerce in Thailand hit 2.55 trillion baht this year and is expected to continue to see strong growth.

Work Permit

Any foreigner working in Thailand must obtain a Work Permit before beginning work. While a prospective employer may file an application on the foreigner’s behalf in advance of his starting work, the actual Work Permit will not be issued until the foreigner has entered Thailand in accordance with the immigration laws and has presented himself to receive his Work Permit.

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