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The Thai Stock Exchange (TSE) is set to apply for a license from the Ministry of Finance so that they can list digital asset trading on their platform.

The move by the TSE is the start of the first stages of enabling securities companies to become brokers and dealers of digital assets on the trading platform. If approved, Thailand will become one of the first countries to officially launch a full-scale digital asset trading platform next to their traditional trading platform. Plans for the TSE digital asset exchange peg the launch of the platform for this year if the appropriate licenses and runway are granted.

Thailand’s Push Towards Regulated Digital Assets

The application by the TSE follows on the heels of several other proposals by groups in the Southeast Asian country. The Ministry of Finance granted business licenses for digital asset businesses last week, including Bitkub Online and Satang Corporation.

Unlike many other countries, the Thai government has already provided licensing regulations for crypto assets and did so back in July of 2018. The SET has noticeable advantages over other licensed digital asset trading platforms in both capital and trust, according to Jirayut Sruprisopa, chief executive of Bitkub Group — who oversees Bitkub Online.

SET also launched a blockchain-based marketplace last year, focusing on expanding capital access for startups in the country.

Southeast Asia Continues to Lead in Integrated Digital Assets

Thailand resides among several other countries and territories in Southeast Asia that have taken a friendly approach to the emergence of cryptocurrencies. Both Singapore and Hong Kong have materialized as early hubs of crypto assets, and Thailand is now making a similar push.

In particular, Singapore has made numerous moves in fostering more adoption of crypto assets and the underlying technology, including assisting crypto-focused startups in receiving banking services and providing clear regulatory guidelines for firms seeking to administer token sales.

Similarly, many digital asset exchanges and crypto companies are based in Hong Kong, including the popular exchange BitMEX. Mining giants Bitmain and Canaan have also sought to conduct their IPOs through the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, but the fate of both public sales is unclear at this point.

As 2019 begins, increased emphasis on regulatory frameworks for crypto assets is likely to gain momentum, and Southeast Asia is one of the leaders in the adoption of digital assets into legacy financial structures. The TSE’s pending application to launch a digital asset trading platform is another significant step in that direction.

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