Thailand SEC Releases Warning Statement On ICOs

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand recently released a report about the legality of certain initial coin offerings (ICOs) and other cryptocurrencies.
  • In it, it warns that some of them have not met regulatory standards and may put investors at risk.

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has released a warning to the public about investing in initial coin offerings (ICOs). The report explains that some of the coins being offered did not receive SEC approval, which means that investing in them could carry serious risk.

Additionally, the Thai SEC detailed that the tokens in question have not had their smart contracts audited by official ICO portals, increasing the risk of investment, according to local news outlet the Bangkok Post.

The report identified nine digital tokens and ICOs that were not authorized by the SEC, including: Every Coin, Orientum Coin (ORT Coin), OneCoin and OFC Coin, Tripxchain Coin (TXC Coin), TUC Coin, G2S Expert ICO, Singhcom Enterprise ICO, Adventure hostel Bangkok ICO and Kidstocurrency ICO.

 Many of these coins have been promoted on social media platforms like Facebook and YouTube, which set off red flags for the Thai SEC. The regulator also warned that some of these cryptocurrencies are operated like Ponzi schemes, encouraging users to sell the cryptocurrency to their friends and family in exchange for referral bonuses.

Although not explicitly named, this could be in reference to OneCoin. OneCoin has previously been shut down by the Chinese government. The organization, widely believed to be a Ponzi scheme, has received scrutiny online. Operated as a “private blockchain,” some see it as little more than a scheme, especially after countries like China, India, and Italy issue warnings about OneCoin.

There are opportunists who persuade individuals to invest in digital assets by assuring investment returns generated from digital tokens that are structured like pyramid schemes.

SEC of Thailand

The regulator’s move represents the continuing involvement of federal governments in the cryptocurrency space. The ICO boom of 2017 put the fundraising method under regulatory scrutiny.

This new financial instrument doesn’t fit under any one regulatory body, and confuses many regulatory bodies. Despite these challenges, governments are stepping in to police the space. Earlier this month (October 19, 2018), the United States’ SEC announced that it would be launching a new “Finhub” division to engage with ICO startups.

Crypto Exchange Bittrex to Return Frozen Funds to Users in Sanctioned Regions

Bittrex, a popular U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, is seemingly looking to return cryptocurrency holdings to users it had to block from its platform over international sanctions.

According to a tweet published by former user Ziya Sadr, Bittrex is now reaching out to users who reside in sanctioned nations where it’s legally unable to offer its services to send them their frozen funds.

The tweet contains a letter that details Bittrex doesn’t offer users services because of the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) but has now been allowed to return users’ funds. It details:

In May of 2018, Bittrex filed an application to permit it to release the funds currently frozen back to the owners. This application was recently granted and we are writing to let you know that you may withdraw your funds to another exchange.

To get their funds back, however, users will have to create an account at a cryptocurrency exchange that isn’t located in Iran, Cuba, Crimea, Syria, or another sanctioned region, create a Bittrex support account, and fill out a form informing the exchange.

Users will only be able to receive their funds if the balance was above the withdrawal limit, which varies from crypto to crypto, but Is often above three times the transaction fee needed to move the funds using the blockchain.

To receive their funds, users will have to submit a request by March 15 of next year. How many users were affected by the sanctions and may have to ask Bittrex for their funds isn’t clear.

As CryptoGlobe covered earlier this year the exchange geofenced 32 cryptoassets for U.S. customers to comply with regulations. Last month, Bittrex’s international trading platform closed services for clients in more than 30 countries “due to regulatory uncertainty.”

Featured image via Pixabay.