Cryptocurrency enthusiasts in Thailand have mixed feelings today as their first homegrown initial coin offering, JFin coin, is enjoying a successful pre-sale but, at the same time regulators, have put the brakes on any further ICOs.
While JFin have already achieved over 80% of hard cap in pre-sale, which was originally due to last until the end of the month, the central bank of Thailand has now requested all financial organisations to cease facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.
Authorities Seeking to Buy Time
As a result, banks have been asked not to sell or invest in cryptocurrencies, make exchange transactions or create platforms for trade. The withdrawal of services includes not providing loans to customers who intend to purchase digital currencies or tokens.
Stopping short of a ban, the central bank’s request is undoubtedly intended to slow the uptake of blockchain assets in the country.
As Thailand’s Finance Minister, Apisak Tantivorawong, acknowledged, although regulators cannot stop the use of virtual currencies they will seek to “… coherently regulate them in the near future.”
To narrow that timeframe, he went on to state that “… a regulatory framework to govern digital currencies will become clearer within a month.”
Although not referring to JFin or ICOs directly, any further coin sales will likely have to wait for those regulations to be confirmed before being allowed to proceed.
JFin is a decentralised peer to peer lending system and comes under the umbrella of companies run by Jay Mart PCL who are listed on Thailand’s Stock Exchange.
According to a report in the Bangkok Post, Jay Mart chief executive Adisak Sukhumvitaya said after a meeting on Tuesday with the central bank, “The central bank did not impede our ICO plan.”
Purchases of the utility token can only be made in Thai Baht through the TDAX platform.