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Crypto in Thailand: TradFi Goes Blockchain, Investors Get Spiritual

Thai institutional players are moving into crypto and Web3, while local investors are trading crypto with the help of gods and astrology.

TradFi buys into blockchain

Kasikorn Bank, one of the largest in Thailand, today announced it had acquired a 97% stake in Satang, a local regulated crypto exchange with over $660,ooo of daily spot trading volume. The acquisition was made through Unita Capital Company Ltd, which was established by the bank specifically to invest in digital assets businesses and has over $100 million of registered capital.

As part of the deal, Satang, which has been operating in the country since 2017, is changing its name to Orbix. The company will also gain three new sister companies: custody platform Orbix Custodian, Orbix Investment, a digital asset fund manager, and Orbix Technology and Innovation, a blockchain technology and infrastructure developer. The custodian and investment branches are still in the process of obtaining business licenses.

Last month K-Bank started a $100 million venture capital fund targeting AI, Web3, and fintech startups globally. KXVC aims to invest in consumer-focused AI, cybersecurity, problem-specific AI startups, Web3 infrastructures, RPC providers, modularity technologies, privacy, ZKP, wallets, consumerization of NFTs, and more, according to a press release

One of its main rivals and Thailand's oldest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, announced in September that it had signed a partnership deal with one of Korea’s biggest Web3 investors, Hashed Ink, to collaborate on R&D initiatives. SCB's venture capital department, launched a $50 million fund to invest in blockchain, digital asset and DeFi startups back in 2021.

Thai investors address 'higher powers'

Recently an r/cryptocurrency thread on Reddit pointed out that trading crypto using astrology is a growing trend in Thailand. Thankfully for sanity's sake, the comments are mainly sceptical, but it is difficult to ignore the popularity of Thai crypto influencers:

  • Pimfah reads tarot-cards on Facebook for 190,000 followers, competing with Mayo, who has claims to be a crypto trading expert using astrology, tarot cards, and technical analysis.
  • Ajarn Ton attempts to predict the price of various cryptocurrencies using astrology on YouTube. Lately he's been mainly promoting LUNC.
  • Other investors are listening to Mor Plai, who according to local news, managed to predict the crypto market recovery by talking with the god of death (but forgot to mention the FTX-collapse).

Back in reality, the actual higher power in Thailand is also pro-crypto. New Prime Minister of Thailand since August, Srettha Thavisin used to be an active crypto investor. The new administration will presumably continue to promote crypto friendly regulation to encourage more crypto projects and investment.

Luckily we have more reliable sources on crypto and blockchain than cards and divine signals. Stay tuned.