Recent reports reveal that KasiKornbank (K-Bank) in Thailand has significantly bolstered its position in the digital assets arena by acquiring a 97% stake in the parent company of the local cryptocurrency exchange Satang.
This strategic move, valued at an impressive 3.705 billion Thai baht (equivalent to $102.8 million), marks a pivotal development for K-Bank and underscores its commitment to navigating the evolving landscape of digital finance.
KasiKornbank Foray into the Digital Asset Space
The acquisition, which commenced operations on October 27, was set up by a new K-bank auxiliary called Unita Capital. It positions the bank as a formidable player in the burgeoning crypto market. With the majority ownership of Satang’s parent company, K-Bank gains not only a significant share in a prominent local crypto exchange but also a foothold in the broader digital asset ecosystem.
Furthermore, the deal indicates K-Bank’s proactive approach to embracing the transformative potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies. As the deal comes to a close, K-bank intends to rebrand Satang to Orbix. Orbix will have three additional and prominent subsidiaries namely Orbix Invest: a digital asset fund manager, Orbix Technology: a blockchain technology developer, and Orbix Custodian.
Meanwhile, K-Bank’s foray into the digital asset space aligns with the broader trend of traditional financial institutions recognizing the importance of integrating cryptocurrency services into their portfolios to meet evolving customer demands.
Bank of Thailand Set up Virtual Banks by 2025
Recall that early this year, the Bank of Thailand announced its intentions to let virtual banks operate for the first time in Thailand. As such, applications to operate as financial services providers will be made available later this year, as per the central bank’s “Consultation Paper on Virtual Bank Licensing Framework.”
Notably, the goal of this action is to intensify competition while accelerating Thailand’s economic development. Under the licensing system, virtual banks will be subject to the same rules and oversight as conventional commercial banks. However, suitable applicants will need to fulfill a number of prerequisites.
Thailand was Skeptical of Crypto
With this development, it appears that regulators in Thailand are taking note of the advantages provided by the crypto market.it is also important to note that the country appeared to be distant from the crypto market since March last year, as Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced plans to prohibit the use of digital currencies as payment for products and services in the country.
The SEC stresses the necessity of protecting the nation from the potential effects of adopting digital currencies as a form of payment on its financial stability and overall economy.