In a groundbreaking move, Binance, a global cryptocurrency exchange, has set its sights on Thailand, unveiling a spot trading platform under the umbrella of Gulf Binance. While the initial focus is on spot trading, the company is actively engaging with regulators to secure approvals for a broader spectrum of services. This strategic leap follows Binance’s recent approval from the local Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), allowing operations on an invitation-only basis with a grand public launch slated for 2024.
The journey began in May 2023 when Binance disclosed plans to establish a cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand. Swiftly obtaining a digital asset exchange and brokerage operator license from the Ministry of Finance the same month, Binance materialized its vision through Gulf Binance, a joint venture with Thai energy giant Gulf Energy’s subsidiary, Gulf Innova.
The Thai market, dominated by Bitkub with a staggering 77% market share, poses a formidable challenge for Binance. Bitkub, boasting a daily trading volume of around $30 million, leads with the Thai baht and Tether pair as the most traded on its platform. Despite competition from Upbit, Bitazza, and Zipmex, regulatory pressures forced Zipmex to suspend trading in November.
Nirun Fuwattananukul, CEO of Gulf Binance, emphasized the close collaboration with Thai regulators over the past year, underscoring meticulous planning efforts. Binance’s CEO, Richard Teng, echoed this sentiment, expressing the company’s commitment to becoming an integral part of Thailand’s digital economy, fostering growth and creating new opportunities.
It’s noteworthy that Binance TH is exclusively accessible to users with a Thai National Digital ID for Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures, restricting access for foreigners residing in Thailand. Despite this limitation, crypto trading remains highly popular in the country, even though digital assets ceased being used for payments since March 2022.
In a significant development, the Thai government unveiled plans in September 2023 to tax overseas income from stock and crypto traders, a regulation scheduled to take effect in January 2024. This regulatory shift could potentially reshape the cryptocurrency trading landscape in Thailand, adding a new layer of considerations for both traders and exchanges.
On January 15th, Binance released its highly anticipated “Themes for 2024” report, outlining key growth areas within the cryptocurrency industry. The report highlighted narratives surrounding the Bitcoin ecosystem, ownership economy applications, artificial intelligence, real-world assets, on-chain liquidity, and institutional adoption, showcasing Binance’s commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends.
As Binance continues its bold foray into the Thai market, the cryptocurrency landscape in the region stands poised for transformation. With regulatory collaboration, strategic planning, and a commitment to community integration, Binance aims not only to compete but to actively contribute to Thailand’s evolving digital economy.
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