Siam Business Financial institution (SCB), the oldest financial institution in Thailand, has introduced a majority stake acquisition of Bangkok-based cryptocurrency trade Bitkub. The deal, value THB 17.85 billion (roughly Rs. 3,994 crore) is because of be accomplished by the primary quarter of 2022, barring any regulatory hiccups and is predicted to convey “new development worth in the long run amid a brand new monetary world” for the financial institution. Though this merger, specifically, could not have quick world ramifications by way of scale, the SCB-Bitkub deal will go down as one of many largest mergers and acquisitions in crypto, globally.
Licensed by the Thai Securities and Change Fee (SEC) and began in 2018, Bitkub is among the few licensed crypto exchanges that function in Thailand. The trade has a reported buying and selling quantity of over $30 billion (roughly Rs. 2,23,772 crore) from January to September 2021, making it the nation’s largest crypto trade by a large margin, holding a market share of over 90 %.
SCB has been operational for over 114 years, and isn’t new to the crypto world both. The financial institution operates a enterprise capital unit known as SCB 10X that invests in blockchain and decentralised finance (DeFi) startups. SCB10X is an investor in crypto corporations akin to Ripple, BlockFi, and Alpha Finance. Again in April 2020, SCB additionally started utilizing Ripple’s cost community known as RippleNet to allow cross-border funds with digital cash switch service Azimo.
That stated, the crypto ecosystem in Thailand is not freed from regulatory hurdles. The Thai SEC, again in June this yr banned crypto exchanges from permitting meme cash akin to Dogecoin and Shiba Inu to commerce. Fan tokens and collectables primarily based on non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have been additionally placed on maintain.
Bitkub had a run-in with Thailand’s SEC earlier this yr, being requested to briefly shut down and repair points inflicting extreme outages. After ordering a shutdown, the regulator offered Bitkub 5 days to repair the issues that had brought on three outages in January amid elevated buying and selling exercise. Throughout one of many three reported outages, the platform was reportedly down for 16 hours earlier than buying and selling resumed.