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Investors in Thailand can now trade bitcoin futures listed on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board Options Exchange. The country’s financial authorities say that these instruments should be offered in Thailand and one company is already offering them to their customers.

Bitcoin Futures Trading Available Now
Phillip Securities Thailand Ltd. announced on Monday the launch of its bitcoin futures trading services for investors wanting to invest in bitcoin futures listed on the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), local publications reported.

Thailand’s Regulators Allow Bitcoin Futures TradingApisak Vongvanij, head of global markets at Phillip Securities Thailand, explained that customers “must apply for the company’s global derivatives service,” the Bangkok Post detailed. This service, launched 6 years ago, allows them to trade futures on 15 global futures markets, including CBOE and CME, Vongvanij continued, adding that “Thais are seen as reasonably active investors.”

Prices are quoted in US dollars and investors have to put money down to cover their investment margin, he noted. “In principle, investors should prepare money as a buffer for price movement around 20-30% above the margin.”

Regulators’ Responses
In its advertisement, Phillip Securities “claims to be the first and only brokerage company in Thailand to offer bitcoin futures trading in the CBOE and CME,” the Nation reported.

In response to the company’s claim, the assistant governor of the Bank of Thailand (BOT), Chantavarn Sucharitakul, expressed her concern. “This statement might mislead investors into believing that its service has gotten approval from the BOT. The BOT has never legalised bitcoin as a currency for financial transactions,” she clarified.

Thailand’s Regulators Allow Bitcoin Futures Trading – One Firm Already OnboardHowever, she also said that the central bank allows “Thai investors to invest in foreign financial assets,” but “they should be aware of the high risks associated with digital currencies”

The president of the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), Kesara Manchusree, concurred about the risks but believes that “since Phillip Securities is a member of the CBOE and CME markets, which offer bitcoin trading, it could provide the bitcoin investment service to Thai investors.”

Citing that both the CME and CBOE are under the supervision of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the assistant secretary-general of the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Paralee Sukonthaman, said:

Thai brokerage companies could provide trading service in bitcoin futures in those two futures markets.

A statement from the Thai SEC obtained by the Bangkok Post reads, “Since this product is under the supervision of a standardised regulatory body, a point of concern, in this case, is not about fraud or money laundering, but rather how this product has high risks.”

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