The Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] of Thailand approved the country’s first ever Initial Coin Offering [ICO], capping off a wave of cryptocurrency adoption in the country.
As reported by a local news daily on 12 March, the Board of Directors of Thailand’s financial regulator gave a green light to the ICO portal. This decision will allow the portal to screen ICOs, conduct necessary background checks, confirm source codes, and ensure KYC norms are adhered to.
The Director of the Fintech Department at the SEC, Archari Suppiroj, said that the final approval of the ICO portal lay with the Thailand Commerce Ministry, and other relevant government agencies, an approval he deemed to be imminent.
Suppiroj added that the company that will operate the ICO portal is not registered in Thailand and is a foreign company. However, the Director did not mention any names in reference to the same, but stated that around eight companies were considered for the pre-consultation phase with the SEC to operate the portals.
“The first ICO deal will be available for public offering in the near future under the digital asset royal decree.”
Coins and tokens are not on the same plateau, according to the country’s financial watchdog, with regulatory pressure still on the Security Token Offerings (STO). Suppiroj stated that STO introduction was prohibited as transactions relating to securities fell under a different law.
Suppiroj stated that the ICO market in Thailand saw a wave of improvement, from being project-based to being backed by actual assets. She added,
In December 2018, the financial watchdog had announced plans to reduce the regulatory pressure surrounding ICOs. Tipsuda Thavaramara, the former General Secretary of the SEC called this proposition,“An attempt to find greater equilibrium in the regulatory process and reduce regulatory impediments.”
Recently, Thailand’s SEC trimmed down the list of cryptocurrencies that could be used as an investment tool in the country’s ICO market and as base trading pairs. The existing list of currencies includes Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH], and XRP, along with the country’s national currency, the Baht [TBH]. The SEC had booted out Litecoin [LTC], Bitcoin Cash [BCH] and Ethereum Classic [ETC] from its roster.
Ripple releases Q1 report for 2019, Charlie Lee on LTC’s vision and more
Bitcoin [BTC] and the rest of the cryptocurrency market has been working towards achieving mainstream adoption amongst the masses. This mantra seems to have worked in small capacities after the adoption of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies by institutions and other popular individuals in the general financial space.
In a move that may provide a significant boost to Bitcoin’s claim of being ‘digital gold,’ Lil’ Pump, the American rapper best known for his Billboard-topping ‘Gucci Gang,’ revealed that users can now use BTC to purchase articles and memorabilia on his merchandise store, ‘Unhappy’.
The clincher in the deal, according to many proponents of the cryptocurrency, is the fact that payments will be conducted over the Bitcoin Lightning Network [LN]. The release of the Lightning Network was meant to increase the speed of Bitcoin transactions, while at the same time reducing fees on individual transactions.
On checkout, the website gives the user three options of payment: credit card, PayPal and finally, Bitcoin. Once the user chooses the Bitcoin payment option, they are directed to a window where they have the choice to transact payments on the Lightning Network or opt for a standard on-chain Bitcoin transaction. Both options can be carried out by scanning their respective QR codes, a process that is aimed at streamlining the checkout process thanks to the LN.
Many supporters of Bitcoin consider Lil Pump’s involvement in Bitcoin as a step in the right direction for the world’s largest cryptocurrency. The ‘Gucci Gang’ singer is not the first mainstream personality to associate himself with Bitcoin as both Eminem and Soulja Boy have previously made references to it in their songs. However, Pump is the first to implement a practical application around digital assets.
The Bitcoin Lightning Network saw another use case recently when Sparkswap raised $3.5 million to build a cryptocurrency exchange on the network. Terry Griffith, Founder of Sparkswap, stated,
“They’re just frustrated by the fact that it takes weeks to pull their money out. By building Sparkswap on Lightning Network Atomic Swaps, we can get performance and currencies needed to build liquid markets without giving up control of your assets.”
‘Stars Aligning’ for 2019 Bitcoin Bull Run, Says Crypto Analyst – BTC, XRP, Ethereum, Litecoin Forecast
Bitcoin is gearing up for a big rally in 2019, according to eToro analyst Simon Peters.
In a new interview with The Independent, Peters says BTC’s recent golden cross is a major signal that Bitcoin has already hit a bottom and the bear market is ending.
“The stars are aligning for a bitcoin bull run. The short-term moving average for the price of bitcoin has finally moved above the longer-term average, which is often referred to as a golden cross, so investors are starting to believe that we might just be approaching a new phase for the price of Bitcoin.
According to Peters, the $6,000 mark is the next crucial line for Bitcoin to cross. If it breaks the barrier, he believes Bitcoin will surpass $14,000 this year.
Right now, the overall crypto market is mixed, with Bitcoin up 0.84% at $5,437, according to Coin360. Ethereum is up 0.93% at $164.04, and XRP is up 1.39% at $0.3032.
In the short term, CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole says Bitcoin is facing further losses and risks dropping below $5,000 in the coming days.
Technical analysts across the board are watching for Bitcoin’s next move, with mixed signals on Ethereum, XRP and Litecoin.
Crypto Loans in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum Classic (ETC) Spike to Over $1.5 Billion: Genesis Capital
Digital asset loan provider Genesis Capital has issued over $1.5 billion in loans since launching its crypto lending platform in March of 2018, adding $425 million in the first quarter of 2019.
An affiliate of Genesis Trading, one of the largest over-the-counter cryptocurrency brokerages, the New York-based lending platform offers institutions and market-makers the ability to borrow Bitcoin and other digital currencies in large sizes over fixed terms with a minimum loan size of $100,000. Total loans in the first quarter of 2019 increased by 17%.
The loan book is denominated in a mix of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Ethereum Classic, with Bitcoin capturing 63.5% of loans originated.
Borrowing of the number one cryptocurrency has been consistent among high-frequency trading firms in need of capital with data showing that most of the Bitcoin loans were made to hedge investments, implement market strategies or invest in businesses, as opposed to price speculation.
Digital Asset Lending Composition
- Bitcoin – 68.1%
- Ethereum – 3.6%
- XRP – 6.7%
- Litecoin – 3.6%
- Bitcoin Cash – 0.3%
- Ethereum Classic – 2.3%
- USD – 9.6%
- Other – 5.9%
Source: Genesis Capital Q1 Insights
In Q4 2018, Genesis began offering US dollar loans, the most active sector in the company’s portfolio, after Bitcoin.
“Because we have been operating in this industry for several years and understand the liquidity and volatility characteristics of digital assets, we are happy to accept digital assets as collateral for cash financing.
We believe this experience adds value to institutions looking for liquidity without having to sell and realize capital gains, miners looking to pay electricity bills without selling inventory, and hedge funds seeking to leverage long positions.”