One of Thailand’s largest banks, Kasikornbank (KBank), has acquired a local crypto exchange, Satang, according to a regulatory filing. It plans to rebrand it to Orbit Trade. Additionally, it has set up Orbix branded subsidiaries for custody and investment.
In related news, last month the bank created a $100 million fund to invest in AI, web3 and tech startups.
KBank is not alone in its interest in crypto exchanges. Two years ago, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) signed a $537 million deal to buy 51% of Thailand’s largest crypto exchange, Bitkub. However, the deal fell through in August last year because Thailand’s securities regulator wanted the crypto exchange to address some regulatory issues.
Meanwhile, during Thailand’s recent election, one of the promises was a 10,000 baht ($278) giveaway to everyone over 16, intended as an economic stimulus. A novel aspect was the giveaway will be a blockchain based digital token. The original target date was February 1, 2024, but recently news outlets reported the payout is delayed to ensure the systems used are sufficiently secure.
While the crypto exchange acquisition and the giveaway are separate stories, one has to wonder if there will be any overlap. For example, will the giveaway be conducted via banks? In this case, providing wallets that allow users to reinvest the digital assets could be a goal, although that is a speculative observation.