Binance and Gulf Energy launch crypto exchange services in Thailand

Gulf Binance, a collaborative venture between global cryptocurrency exchange Binance and Thailand’s Gulf Innova, has officially launched its exchange services in Thailand.

On Jan. 16, Binance TH announced that its exchange is now open to all eligible users. According to reports, it features a dedicated order book for Thai baht trading pairs. Additionally, the platform boasts seamless integration with Thailand’s banking systems, simplifying local currency deposits and withdrawals.

The launch follows two months after Binance secured authorization from Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to start operations, initially on an invite-only basis, with an aim to expand access to the general public in 2024.

Binance first revealed its intentions to establish a Thai-based crypto exchange in May 2023. It received a digital asset exchange and brokerage operator license from Thailand’s Ministry of Finance in the same month.

Gulf Binance, the entity operating the exchange, is a joint venture combining the expertise of Binance Capital Management and Gulf Innova, a subsidiary of the Thai energy conglomerate Gulf Energy.

Gulf Energy, under the leadership of Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi, is a significant player in Thailand’s natural gas distribution sector. The company’s diverse investment portfolio extends across renewable energy, infrastructure development, and digital infrastructure ventures.

This partnership between Binance and Gulf Energy is indicative of Thailand’s evolving stance on cryptocurrency regulation, hinting at a more accommodating approach from the new government.

This is especially noteworthy in the Thai cryptocurrency exchange market, which is currently dominated by Bitkub. Based in Bangkok, the exchange holds approximately 77% of the market share, with daily volumes hovering around $30 million. The most popular trading pair on Bitkub involves the Thai baht and Tether (USDT).

The Thai market also features other players like Upbit, which started operations in 2021, as well as Bitazza and Zipmex. However, Zipmex had to halt trading in November due to regulatory challenges.

Nirun Fuwattananukul, CEO of Gulf Binance, highlighted the extensive collaboration with Thai regulators over the past year, emphasizing the meticulous planning that went into the venture.

Binance CEO Richard Teng shared his vision of contributing to Thailand’s digital economy, driving growth, and creating new opportunities.

Despite the popularity of crypto trading in Thailand, the previous military-backed government prohibited the use of digital assets for payments in March 2022.

In September, the new government revealed its plans to begin taxing overseas earnings from stock and cryptocurrency trading, effective from January 2024.

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