Government Endorsement Brings New Opportunities for Underserved Populations
Thailand’s Acceptance And Adoption
This month brings several exciting developments for Thailand as the Thai government continues to lead the world in cryptocurrency acceptance and adoption. The Thai SEC has authorized an ICO portal to screen projects, perform due diligence, and field other regulations to help balance the needs for investor protection and to reduce regulatory obstacles. The Krungthai Bank of Thailand has endorsed an Ethereum-based blockchain remittance system, in cooperation with the Shwe Bank of Myanmar. This good news comes on the heels of a spike of nearly 20% in the price of Bitcoin, well ahead of the estimated halving point of May 2020.
First Government-Endorsed ICO Portal to Open In Thailand
The Thai SEC has approved a government portal to screen ICOs and handle other regulatory tasks, such as KYC compliance, smart contract codes, and due diligence. This represents a continuing market shift as ICOs mature and moves away from intangible, idea-focused projects to offerings backed by physical assets and currencies. This new offering is a follow-through from the Thai SEC’s December 2018 statement evoking a desire to find a greater balance between regulation streamlining and investor protection. The Thai SEC interviewed several portals that expressed interest in conducting and streamlining these regulatory tasks and eventually selected a company outside of Thailand for its first offering.
This selected company will now be forwarded to other relevant branches of the Thai government, including the Ministry of Commerce, for further research and approval. Pending final approval and implementation, the portal would list its first ICO as a public offering under the digital asset royal decree. Further details about the chosen company implementing the portal have not yet been revealed but will likely come to light as this project progresses.
The Thai SEC stated that ICO issuers must be approved by an authorized portal before applying for approval. This language suggests that the first approved portal is essentially a pilot test, and further options may follow afterward. It also describes eligible investors like venture capital firms and private equity firms, or high net worth individuals with at least 70 million baht of assets or 25 million baht of investments.
Blockchain Remittance Service Endorsed By Myanmar and Thailand
Blockchain firm Everex has reported that the Krungthai Bank of Thailand and the Shwe Bank of Myanmar have endorsed their Ethereum remittance service, allowing citizens of both countries to send and receive payments. This specific government endorsement adds a layer of security and surety for Ethereum transfers, making it a more secure method of remittance for cross-border transactions. More than 3 million Myanmar nationals work in Thailand and send money back home to Myanmar, depending heavily on a secure and trusted transaction method to do so. These migrant workers in the past have avoided currently existing secure methods due to high fees, and instead resort to insecure, informal channels to send money home. Users will be able to initiate transactions from their smartphone and will save through the service’s competitive exchange rates, as well as providing faster and more convenient money transfers compared to physical currency.
Founded in 2016, Everex has already built a history of cross-border money transfers, focusing on underserved populations in the Greater Mekong Subregion including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and South China. Its inclusion of Myanmar and Thailand furthers its mission of benefiting migrant workers within the region, providing a much-needed service to this population.
Bitcoin Price Surges Nearly 20%
After several months of steady but tempered gains, the price of Bitcoin surged nearly 20% over mere minutes on April 1st, peaking at $5,300 before stabilizing around the $5,000 mark. As $80 million of sell orders at $4,200 were absorbed by buyers, there was little resistance to be found above this point, catapulting the price upwards. What lends this surge special credence is that in the following week, the price has remained quite steady around $5,000, with none of the volatility that plagued prices in the year prior.
This points to a sign of confidence in the coin’s value as the halving event of May 2020 continues to approach. Historically, the price in Bitcoin has always surged in the year prior to a halving, which constrains the coin supply even as innovation and development in the blockchain space continues to spur demand. Large bitcoin holders (‘whale wallets’) have also been spotted accumulating coins over the prior weeks. As many of these holders sold coins at the $20,000 mark at the last market peak, this could imply that investors also see the price following a similar trend over the following year.
Further market indicators could show that the price was due for a rally and that it very well could be sustainable past this point. The 50-week moving average had dropped below the 100-week average in February, which had not been seen since 2015. As this indicator had shown that the price crossed firmly into bear market territory, it would stand to reason that the coin price had finally found its bottom after the drop from $20,000.
Blockchain continues to find a market niche as project leaders reach out to and offer alternatives and competition to services that previously held free reign over their customers. Everex’s service will find a home among workers that were in dire need of a safe, secure, and fast method of currency transaction, and the Thai SEC’s focus on providing a level-headed and prudent avenue for regulation compliance will continue to spur development in this key sector of the global cryptocurrency market. As the Bitcoin price continues to find stable purchase on increasingly higher ground, it too will help drive further interest from a general public that may not be aware of the strong market fundamentals that have been simmering over the past year.
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