It is not the first time that the exchange has sought to ally with billionaires in Asia as part of its global expansion plan.

The largest cryptocurrency exchange worldwide, Binance, and a Thai billionaire businessman discuss plans to set up a digital asset exchange in that country.

As reported by various news outlets, Binance has partnered with Thailand-based energy company Gulf Energy Development, owned by Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi. The deal will study the development of a new cryptocurrency exchange in the Southeast Asian country.

Gulf Energy Development disclosed the partnership Monday in a letter sent to the Stock Exchange of Thailand. The firm said it envisions rapid digital infrastructure growth in the digital infrastructure, with cryptocurrencies playing a prominent role. They added that the partnership with Binance will help develop that infrastructure.

Exploring Opportunities in Thailand

A Binance spokesperson added to news outlets that the deal marks the first step for the company to find new opportunities in Thailand. Reuters quoted the representative as saying:

According to The Block, the deal with the cryptocurrency exchange comes after Gulf Energy established a new division, called Gulf Innova, last month as part of an effort to enter the digital infrastructure industry. At the time, the company got quoted as saying that it intends to invest with partners and combine each party’s expertise to build a digital platform in the future.

For his part, billionaire Ratanavadi, a Thai energy executive, is no stranger to the fintech space. As reported by Bloomberg, Advanced Info Service PCL, the largest Thai telephone service operator in Thailand, in which Gulf Energy has an indirect stake, formed a joint venture with Siam Commercial Bank PCL in September last year to bring digital financial products.

Thailand has been making significant strides in the area of digital assets. Last year, the authorities in the country revealed the creation of a new digital currency and a non-fungible token (NFT) to boost tourism in the region. They have also implemented new tax policies for crypto as more local businesses get more interested in the sector.

Binance Looks to Expand its Global Operations

The news also comes a few months after Binance received several warnings from regulators in countries worldwide throughout 2021 for not having the required registrations to operate.

 Among those, the Thai Securities Commission (SEC) filed a criminal complaint against the exchange in July, alleging that the company carried out a business without a license. Binance stopped serving Thai clients and ceased operations in that country in August, following the moves by regulators.

In recent months, Binance has been looking to meet the requirements of watchdogs to continue expanding its operations. In December, the company received approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain to operate as a cryptocurrency service provider. It has also cooperated with Canadian authorities to continue its activities in Ontario.

Binance has sought to partner with a billionaire entrepreneur in Asia for its expansion efforts before. Last month, the firm met with billionaire brothers Budi and Michael Hartono, owners of Bank Central Asia (BCA) in Indonesia, with similar intentions of establishing a crypto exchange in that nation. The Hartono’s are the wealthiest family in the country.

By: Jenson Nuñez


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