Binance has opened a cryptocurrency exchange in Thailand, under the name Binance TH (by Gulf Binance). The exchange has launched a spot trading service with an order book designed for Thai baht trading pairs and a digital asset brokerage platform. No additional features beyond spot trading are available at the moment or expected in the near future, but the exchange is working with the regulators to obtain approvals for other services, according to a Binance spokesperson.
“Over the past year, we have been working closely with Thai regulators, putting substantial effort into detailed planning. As a result, Binance TH is now able to offer access to proven and secure technology, ensuring a reliable and intuitive platform for our Thai users.” - Nirun Fuwattananukul, CEO of Gulf Binance.
Binance has established its presence in Thailand through a joint venture between Binance Capital Management, the exchange’s subsidiary, and Gulf Innova, a subsidiary of Thai energy giant Gulf Energy. While the agreement was reached back in 2022, Gulf Binance only became licensed by the SEC of Thailand last November.
Binance TH will be competing with the largest player in the region, Thailand's Bitkub crypto exchange, which currently has a 75% market share, over $36 million of daily trading volume and over 4 million active users. Bitkub, licensed by the Thai SEC and supervised by the Bank of Thailand, is developing a full blockchain ecosystem to target the local audience. Other major exchanges in the country by trading volume include Orbix (formerly Satang, acquired by Kasikorn Bank) and Bitazza.
The crypto industry in Thailand is experiencing significant growth and interest, reflecting the country's general pro-blockchain policy. 9.32% of Thailand's total population currently owns cryptocurrency, which is significantly higher than the average of 4.2% worldwide. The country doesn’t consider digital assets to be lawful currencies, but the overall level of adoption is relatively high. The Bank of Thailand has been researching CBDC adoption since 2018 and is currently in a pilot phase of the use of digital baht. Thai commercial banks are also moving into crypto and Web3 trying not to miss the trend and seize the right moment.
Crypto regulation in Thailand is often friendly but inconsistent. The local SEC banned crypto lending services and prohibited VASPs from using customer funds for investment last Summer, but has quite a liberal stance on trading and investment activity. The new Prime Minister of Thailand, Srettha Thavisin, used to be an active crypto investor and even promised crypto cash to every voter if elected.
It is expected that the new administration will continue to promote pro-crypto regulation to encourage more crypto projects and investments. While crypto-friendliness is a first step, the government will have to eventually elaborate proper and comprehensive regulatory frameworks to benefit from blockchain initiatives.