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Thailand’s SEC announces a public hearing for Digital Asset Advertising
On February 14, 2022, Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that they will be holding a public hearing relating to the proposed advertising regulations for digital asset businesses. This public hearing is open for general comments and feedback from the public until March 15, 2022.
In addition to the announcement of the public hearing, the SEC also expressed their intention to create a clear set of digital asset advertising principles. The SEC hopes that these principles will conform to regulations already in existence in other countries, such as Singapore, the UK, and Japan.
What are the topics under consideration during the public hearing?
During the public hearing period, people and companies may submit feedback on the proposed principles from the SEC. The principles include the following key points:
- Advertisements in relation to digital assets that are educational, informative, or factual, must not mislead customers through exaggeration, distortion of facts, or the concealment of information. Please note that any advertisements that refer to customer numbers for a particular relevant service must only indicate the number of customers who have received approval to open an account and can use the service immediately. This suggests that an app or website cannot use information such as app download numbers or account openings (those who have opened an account but have not completed KYC procedures etc).
- All advertisements relating to digital assets must be, “clear and appropriate”. This suggests that advertisements must clearly provide a warning about investment risks, and clearly state any SEC-mandated statements.
- Advertisements relating to cryptocurrencies will only be able to be made via a business operator’s official channels (e.g., their website, app, or other official online channel such as social media). Cryptocurrency will not be allowed to be advertised in public areas (e.g., billboards, public transportation, websites, newspapers etc.). However, any advertisements relating to the services of a digital assets business can still be made in public areas. For example, this suggests that a Cryptocurrency exchange will be allowed to advertise their services in public, but they will not be permitted to name any of the Cryptocurrencies they trade in any advertisement.
- Business operators will be required to monitor their own advertisements as well as those of affiliated companies that are not regulated by the SEC, in order to ensure they are in compliance with any specified regulations. This is a requirement for both companies part of the same same group and related individuals (e.g., shareholders, directors, marketing content creators, social media influencers, and others who manage the operations of the business).
- Cryptocurrency businesses will no longer be able to use, “Introducing broker agents (IBAs)”. However, if a business exclusively deals with digital tokens, they will still be permitted to use IBAs.
Please note that these principles have not been finalized and are still under consideration.
How does this affect my business?
If you work within the digital asset advertising industry, these new principles will have a profound effect on the way your company can offer its services. These principles go quite far in restricting what an advertiser can and cannot say and do in an advertisement. By providing feedback you will be able to share any feedback and concerns you may have and potentially receive feedback and clarification from the SEC. Furthermore, the fact the SEC is open to public feedback suggests that if many people share the same concerns or issues, they will take this on board when drafting and finalizing the principles.
How can I participate?
The SEC is accepting feedback from people through an official comment form and an online system. To submit your feedback, please visit this link.
The SEC is continuing to focus its efforts on digital assets and provide a clear and effective framework. This public hearing announcement has introduced an important set of rules and regulations for advertising in relation to digital assets. However, the SEC appears to be open to feedback and is looking for contributions and suggestions from relevant parties. This is an excellent opportunity for relevant businesses to help shape these regulations.
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