The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Thailand has expanded the Securities and Exchange Act to incorporate blockchain technology.

With the expansion, Thai’s will be able to trade digital securities. Additionally, blockchain technology will be legalized to be used for conducting digital trades. The new changes included in the Securities and Exchange Act of 2019, took effect in mid-April. Notably, the changes covered the primary market – where securities are created – since the previous changes included the secondary market – where securities are traded.

According to Tipsuda Thavaramara, deputy Secretary-General, SEC, said that “this change will have a major impact as the amended Act provides a legal basis to support [the country’s capital market] the tokenization platform.”

Tipsuda added that the amendment allows other market players to venture into 100% digital shares. It’s also likely to open up Thailand to fundraising through issuing securities – security token offering (STO). STOs have been hailed to be more investor-focused that initial coin offerings (ICOS). Due to the inconsistences that plagued ICOs in 2017 and early 2018, most countries, including Thailand, required firms to obtain a license before issuing an ICO.

Thailand has been a step further compared to other countries in the wider South Asian region. Unlike other countries in this region like India, Thailand has from the start maintained positivity towards virtual currencies and the technology that underpins them; blockchain.

However, there have been unclear points due to a royal decree that was issued on digital assets. As per the Secretary-General, the order had “some overlying characteristics with the Act.”

She opined:

“If I could turn back time or had an opportunity to present a new perspective, the digital asset royal decree should not overlap with the Securities and Exchange Act.”

For Tipsuda, the capital market has to be prepped for the digital transition to reduce friction when Thailand’s financial market embraces the digital phase.