The first initial coin offering (ICO) by a publicly traded company in Thailand has begun trading on a couple of local exchanges. Meanwhile, the regulators are still drafting the legal framework for cryptocurrencies and token sales.
First Public Company to Launch ICO
The launch of an ICO by a publicly traded company has paved the way for other token sales in Thailand.
Jay Mart Plc’s subsidiary, J Ventures Limited, launched its ICO called Jfin Coin last week. Jay Mart Plc operates in the wholesale and retail sectors for mobile phones and technology accessories and is listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET).
The pre-sale of Jfin Coin was held on February 14 at the rate of 6.60 baht (~US$0.21) per token, which was sold out. Its ICO debuted on local cryptocurrency exchange Coin Asset at 6.45 baht, but quickly tanked 57.09% to roughly 3 baht before regaining some of its losses. It is currently trading at 3.94 baht (~$0.12).
Initially, J Ventures was going to trade the tokens on a much larger crypto exchange in the country, the Thai Digital Asset Exchange (TDAX). However, the company switched to Coin Asset, which has much lower liquidity, according to the Bangkok Post.
Jfin Coin also started trading this week on another local platform, Cash2coins. J Ventures CEO Thanawat Lertwattanarak told the news outlet that the company plans to list Jfin Coin on Hong Kong’s Hitbtc as well as South Korea’s Upbit in the near future. His statement came prior to Upbit being investigated by the Korean authorities for alleged fraud.
Other ICOs Follow
The Thai government is currently drafting the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and ICOs. However, some companies are not waiting for the legal framework to be introduced.
Following Jfin Coin, Zmine Holdings Limited is also planning a token sale. CEO and co-founder Kasem Pativitvatana said the company expects to raise at least 180 million baht (~$5.6 million) through the issuance of 100 million ZMN tokens in order to expand its crypto mining business which began in 2014, Prachachat Turakij reported.
The pre-sale of ZMN tokens began last week. MGR Online reported that 2 million tokens were sold on the first day for approximately 3.5 million baht (~$109,825).
Recently, “the Finance Ministry took steps to put the brakes on the Initial Coin offering (ICO) bandwagon by threatening to hit the emerging ICO market with value-added tax and capital gain tax,” the Nation Multimedia described, adding:
Under the proposed new laws, the [Thai] Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be responsible for regulating the ICO market, covering securities and other kinds of digital tokens. One key feature of a related new law covers the electronic-KYC (know your customers) requirement aimed at preventing money launderers and other criminals from taking advantage of the new funding channel.
Do you think the Thai government will let ICOs flourish? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coin Asset, J Ventures, and Zmine.
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