Thailand’s first commercial bank, the Siam Commercial Bank, has acquired a 51% stake in Thailand’s Bitkub exchange, according to an announcement published on Nov 2. The exchange noted that the deal would serve the long-term growth of the platform and “lay the foundation for the financial business of the future world.” The bank purchased the stake for roughly $537 million.
The deal is expected to see closure in the first quarter of 2022.
The deal is expected to see closure in the first quarter of 2022, but the announcement is an indication that all the pieces are in place. This would mark the first time that a commercial bank in Thailand has a stake in a crypto exchange. The deal will be subject to approval from financial regulators. Bitkub Online is one of the few licensed cryptocurrency exchanges in Thailand. As a major shareholder, SCB, along with Bitkub, will work on creating a digital asset ecosystem with the exchange serving as a key infrastructure pillar.
The Thai government is ambivalent towards the cryptocurrency market.
Thailand has an active crypto user base, but generally speaking, the government is ambivalent towards the cryptocurrency market. The Thai Prime Minister warned investors about the crypto asset class as adoption spiked in Q2 and Q3 2021. But none of the actions so far have been what one might call draconian. The most negative development has to do with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) outlawing NFTs and meme tokens. The financial regulator also filed a criminal complaint against Binance in July 2021, arguing that the latter operates without a license.