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Binance’s Thai Expansion With Gulf Energy Under Scrutiny Post $4.3 Billion US Penalties

Binance is encountering regulatory challenges in Thailand as it prepares to launch a new cryptocurrency platform in collaboration with billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy. The exchange, currently facing criminal charges and civil lawsuits in the United States, is under scrutiny in Thailand.

The regulatory hurdles have intensified in the jurisdiction, influenced by recent incidents involving Binance, such as a $4.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities and CEO Changpeng Zhao’s guilty plea, leading to his stepping down from the board. These developments have heightened regulatory scrutiny and posed challenges for Binance’s operations in Thailand.

According to Bloomberg, Sarath Ratanavadi stated that Binance was not accused of fraud or misappropriating customer assets in the US settlement. Gulf Energy holds a 51% stake in the planned cryptocurrency exchange, while Binance holds a minority stake.

Ratanavadi expressed confidence in Binance’s credibility after the recent challenges, suggesting that the experience should strengthen the exchange.

The launch of the domestic Binance-Gulf Energy joint venture is expected to face delays due to increased scrutiny. Notably, Binance’s global operations are now led by CEO Richard Teng, the former chief executive of the Abu Dhabi Global Market.

Sarath Ratanavadi highlighted that Thailand’s regulator, the Securities & Exchange Commission, is “very strict” and conducted a thorough inquiry into Binance before granting approval. Despite the scrutiny, Ratanavadi’s firm chose Binance due to its leading position in the market.

However, Binance is simultaneously facing accusations from the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission for operating without a license. The regulator emphasized that the world’s largest crypto exchange lacks authorization to sell securities in the country. As a precaution, the regulator issued a warning to Filipinos, advising them to exercise utmost caution when dealing with unregistered exchanges.

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Cryptocurrency is essentially virtual money that operates in a decentralized manner, not through a bank but directly on multiple independent computers.

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