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Bitcoin Spot ETF Fever Growing as Thai Clients Gain Access After Regulatory Change

Last Updated March 12, 2024 11:46 AM
Eddie Mitchell
Last Updated March 12, 2024 11:46 AM
By Eddie Mitchell
Verified by Peter Henn
Key Takeaways
  • Wealthy investors in Thailand can now purchase US spot Bitcoin ETF shares.
  • Thai regulators have been steadily improving crypto rules and legislation.
  • Spot Bitcoin ETF applications are accelerating around the world.

Spot Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs) are taking off around the world as Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has made a rule change that allows investors access to the coveted crypto product.

But that’s not to say that the nation will be launching domestic crypto ETFs. Instead, it will only allow institutional and “ultra-high-net-worth” entities to invest in spot Bitcoin (BTC) ETFs on US exchanges.

New Thai Rules on Spot Bitcoin ETFs

According to  the Bangkok Post , Thailand’s SEC has adjusted its rules. As a result, Thai asset management firms can now launch private funds and invest in spot Bitcoin ETFs.

Following the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs in the US, the investment product became defined as a security instead of a digital asset, allowing Thai securities firms to invest.

Coupled with the accelerating price in BTC, Thai investors were urging regulators to give them access to digital assets. SEC secretary-general, Pornanong Budsaratragoon said:

“Asset management firms asked the SEC for them to have exposure in digital assets, especially Bitcoin and spot Bitcoin ETFs.”

Emphasizing the diligence undertaken by the SEC, he added:

“We need to consider carefully whether to allow asset management firms to allow asset management firms to invest in digital assets directly due to the high risk.”

In short, the decision enables a select group of sophisticated Thailand-based investors to invest in BTC through regulated channels. This, in turn, could be the beginnings of a bustling crypto sector in the country.

Thai Tax Breaks on Crypto Trading

There appears to be some intention to create clarity around crypto, as well as enable its growth in Thailand. This is timely, given that BTC is breaking records once again.

Other rule changes from the SEC come just a few months after Thailand’s Finance Ministry decided to remove value-added tax  (VAT) from digital asset trading.

The new tax exemption, which removes a 7% VAT obligation from crypto trading, is a move that furthers Thailand’s ambitions of becoming a regional crypto hub. This change came into effect on January 1, 2024.

Thailand Looks Ahead

Following Binance Thailand’s launch in January , Thailand has seemingly been working in the background to increase its global presence as a crypto-friendly nation through favorable regulations.

Also in January this year, Thailand’s SEC posted another update  to its crypto frameworks, with a notable one being a lift on retail investors’ limits on tokens backed by real-world assets (RWAs), which was previously set to 300,000 baht (or approximately $4500).

These exemptions and other pro-crypto legislation appear to have arrived in a timely manner, potentially setting the stage for an interesting crypto industry breakout in Thailand this year.

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