- Kasikornbank seizes a 97% stake in Satang Pro, eyeing a dominant crypto presence.
- Post-acquisition, Satang Pro will transition into three specialized units under Orbix.
- K-Bank’s crypto venture follows its recent $100M fund earmarked for digital innovations.
Kasikornbank has recently made a pivotal move in the cryptocurrency domain, securing a majority stake in Satang Pro, a well-established digital assets trading platform. This decision marks a significant milestone, showcasing the growing interconnectedness of traditional finance and the burgeoning crypto industry.
Strategic Growth and Expansion
This acquisition, amounting to 97% of Satang’s parent company shares, translates to roughly 3.705 billion Thai baht or about $102.8 million. K-Bank, the moniker for Kasikornbank in Thailand, executed this strategic purchase through Unita Capital, a newly established subsidiary focusing on investments in the digital asset space.
Satang Pro, a registered exchange in Thailand, has served the region for five years. With this acquisition, the platform is set for a comprehensive rebranding, soon known as Orbix. Following this rebranding, the company will diversify into three specialized units: Orbix Custodian, Orbix Invest, and Orbix Technology. These units will hone their expertise in digital asset trading services, investment management, and blockchain infrastructure development, ensuring a wide range of services in the crypto sector.
Aiming for Market Dominance
K-Bank’s foray into the crypto world through this acquisition aligns with its broader strategic vision. The bank has set an ambitious target to capture a staggering 20% of the crypto market in Thailand. This goal seems within reach, considering Satang Pro’s impressive user base of over one million and the extensive range of cryptocurrencies it offers, totalling around 45 for trading.
Moreover, this move follows K-Bank’s announcement of a $100 million fund, specifically earmarked for investments in emerging fields like Web3, artificial intelligence, and fintech startups. Hence, it is clear that K-Bank is positioning itself as a leader in digital transformation, bridging the gap between conventional banking and the digital finance world.
Regulatory Compliance and the Road Ahead
As part of its comprehensive strategy, K-Bank has secured a regulatory license in Thailand, legitimizing its crypto trading services within its legal framework. The bank is not resting on its laurels, however, as it actively seeks additional licenses necessary for expanding its range of crypto-related services, ensuring full compliance with local laws.
In this rapidly evolving market, K-Bank is not the only financial institution in Thailand making strides in the crypto space. Last month, Siam Commercial Bank, one of K-Bank’s main competitors, partnered with Hashed, a move aimed at advancing the adoption of decentralized technology on a global scale. Together, they plan to embark on joint research and development initiatives, promoting the widespread adoption of decentralized technologies.
Additionally, Gulf, a leading energy company in Thailand, has joined forces with Binance through its Gulf Innova fund. This partnership is poised to create a localized and regulated version of the Binance exchange, setting the stage for a new chapter in digital asset trading in the region.
Navigating the Evolving Landscape
With these significant movements in the Thai crypto sector, the market is poised for transformation. The entry of major financial institutions like K-Bank, with their vast resources and influence, is expected to intensify competition, particularly for smaller players in the field. According to Udomsak Rakwongwan, a professor at Kasetsart University and co-founder of FWX.finance, the landscape of digital assets in Thailand is on the cusp of substantial change, driven by the involvement of these financial giants.
As Thailand’s digital assets market continues to evolve, the strategic moves by major players like Kasikornbank are sure to play a critical role in shaping the future of cryptocurrency in the region.
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