The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Thailand has officially denied permission to trade spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in the country, according to a report by a local media outlet. This decision comes after the recent approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the United States, which garnered significant attention worldwide.
Thai SEC rejects spot Bitcoin ETFs for now
The Thai SEC’s announcement on January 17, 2024, dashed hopes for local investors looking to gain exposure to Bitcoin through ETFs. While the United States embraced spot Bitcoin ETFs, the Thai regulator clarified that it does not have the policy framework to support such products.
In its official statement, the SEC stated,
“The SEC has been following these developments closely, but we do not have a policy to allow spot Bitcoin ETFs to be established in Thailand for the time being.”
This unequivocal stance underscores the regulatory hurdles that crypto enthusiasts and asset management firms face in the country.
The denial of spot Bitcoin ETFs in Thailand starkly contrasts with the recent developments in the United States. A week prior, on January 10, 2024, U.S. regulators approved 11 issuers to launch their spot Bitcoin ETFs, including BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. This move marked a significant milestone in accepting and integrating cryptocurrencies into traditional financial markets.
Alternative investment avenues for Thai investors
Despite the setback in spot Bitcoin ETFs, the Thai SEC emphasized that local investors still have legitimate avenues to invest in digital assets. These options are available through licensed domestic exchanges under the Digital Assets Decree. The regulator highlighted the benefits of these platforms, noting their role in facilitating fair and transparent trading for Thai users.
Furthermore, the Thai SEC pointed out that securities companies could offer foreign product investment services to retail customers. However, such services must align with the characteristics of products eligible for sale in Thailand. This regulatory approach seeks to balance the needs of investors with the need for responsible oversight in the rapidly evolving crypto space.
While spot Bitcoin ETFs remain off the table for now, the Thai SEC is committed to staying informed about developments in the cryptocurrency sector. The regulator plans to closely monitor operations and supervision in various cryptocurrency-related areas.
This vigilant stance aims to build a comprehensive policy framework that will guide the potential introduction of crypto ETFs in the future.