The Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) has applied for a digital operating license, a move that would allow people to buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the bourse, according to the Bangkok Post.

A core part of the plan is to leverage third-party private companies that already use the exchange. Companies that trade securities on the SET will be able to apply for a broker and dealer license that will allow them to trade “digital assets” (aka cryptocurrencies).

If approved, SET would join a handful of stock exchanges around the world that allow people to buy/sell cryptocurrencies.

Pattera Dilokrungthirapop, the Chairwoman of the Association of Securities Companies told the Post that the hope is to follow the trend of people using cryptos as an investment vehicle.

Dilokrugthirapop said the SET still needs to iron out important details like setting up the actual wallet and and figuring out the back-office workflow.

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The stock exchange is hoping to attract investors because of its advantage in public capital and trust. The issue of trust is particularly highlighted this week after the CEO of Quadriga, Canada’s largest exchange, died suddenly and left US$145 million worth of crypto unaccessible.

That being said, private companies have been operating wallets for years and have a lot of experience to lean on.

Presumably, the SET would be subjected to tougher government oversight which could make mom-and-pop investors more comfortable to put their money in the exchange.

The SET will be responsible for regulatory oversight but the Ministry of Finance will control the operating licenses.

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Investment companies quoted by the Bangkok Post were open-minded to the cryptocurrency push but were quick to point out that it would be viewed as something of a ‘side project’ internally. The quotes suggested investors would still be focussed on their main business and the crypto exchange would not be part of that core.

While the application from SET signals a strategic desire to be a crypt0-friendly bourse, there is still a long way before it becomes a reality.

Photo by Adam Dore on Unsplash