Thailand’s Kasikornbank (KBank) has acquired a 97% stake in the holding company of Satang crypto exchange. The deal, reportedly worth around $102.8 million, was completed through the bank’s new Unita Capital subsidiary targeting digital assets.
Following the acquisition, KBank will create three businesses, Orbix Custodian Company Limited, Orbix Invest Company Limited, and Orbix Technology & Innovation Company Limited. The three units will focus on crypto custody, digital asset fund management, and blockchain infrastructure.
KBank Exploits Clear Thailand Crypto Rules
Founded in 2017, Satang has a customer base of over one million and currently lists 45 crypto assets. With its acquisition of Satang, KBank is targeting a 20% national crypto market share by 2024.
Before acquiring the exchange, KBank previously invested in Cryptomind, a digital asset advisory firm. It also recently launched a $100 million fund targeting Asia’s Web3, fintech, and artificial intelligence sectors.
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In Thailand, aspiring digital asset operators must submit applications to the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). If satisfied with the documents, the SEC will recommend the application to the Ministry of Finance within 90 days of the company’s submission.
While the approval process varies depending on the type of digital asset businesses, there are some common requirements. For example, each digital asset business must be established in Thailand, pay license fees, comply with anti-money laundering rules, and hold minimum capital.
Read more: 11 Best Crypto Exchanges for Beginners
How Thailand is Catching up With Rivals
The acquisition by KBank follows rival Siam Commercial Bank (Siam) in expanding Thailand’s crypto sector. In early October, Siam’s holding Company SCBX partnered with Hashed, a Korean Web3 venture firm specializing in Ethereum account abstraction.
Siam’s venture arm, SCB 10X, has invested in Switzerland’s Sygnum Bank, which recently expanded its digital asset business in Singapore. SCB 10X has also invested in blockchain, digital asset and Web3 projects, hoping to help Thailand keep pace with its Asian neighbor Vietnam.
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