Kasikorn Bank, commonly referred to as K-Bank and ranking as Thailand’s second-largest bank, has recently secured a significant 97% stake in the parent firm of the renowned Satang crypto exchange.
This pivotal move is a testament to K-Bank’s growing focus on the cryptocurrency realm, as they aim to deliver an all-encompassing suite of crypto services that align with Thailand’s regulatory guidelines.
K-Bank Acquires Majority Stake for $102 Million
In a deal amounting to 3.705 billion Thai baht (roughly $102.8 million), K-Bank has strategically moved through its newly-formed subsidiary, Unita Capital, as reported by Thailand Posts.
Specifically created to venture into investments in digital asset firms, Unita Capital embodies K-Bank’s dedication to fortify its footprint in the cryptocurrency and digital asset industry.
Post-acquisition, there will be a comprehensive rebranding of Satang, introducing it as Orbix. This rebranding is emblematic of K-Bank’s evolving digital approach. Alongside the main brand, Orbix will further branch out into three distinct subsidiaries: Orbix Custodian, dedicated to safeguarding digital assets; Orbix Invest, focusing on digital asset fund management; and Orbix Technology, dedicated to pioneering developments in blockchain technology.
Thai Bank Launched $100 Million Fund Dedicated to Web3 Investments
K-Bank’s foray into the crypto realm is closely followed by its recent establishment of a $100 million fund targeting investments in web3, fintech, and artificial intelligence.
It’s worth noting that K-Bank isn’t alone in recognizing the potential of this burgeoning space. Its competitor, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), is also actively exploring avenues in the web3 and cryptocurrency sectors. This trend underscores the increasing significance of these sectors in Thailand’s financial ecosystem.
Adding perspective to this development, Udomsak Rakwongwan, a professor at Kasetsart University and co-founder of FWX.finance (a venture K-Bank has invested in), revealed that K-Bank has secured a crypto exchange license. Additionally, they are in the process of acquiring more permits for a broader range of cryptocurrency activities within the country.
Rakwongwan emphasized the distinct characteristics of the Thai market, which benefits from robust institutional backing and offers an exclusive array of prospects in the cryptocurrency and digital asset arena.
In a previous move showcasing the synergy between traditional sectors and the crypto world, Thailand’s energy behemoth, Gulf, partnered with Binance via its Gulf Innova fund. Their collaboration aims to introduce a regulated local adaptation of the Binance exchange for the Thai audience.
In communications with the local press, K-Bank articulated its aspirations to secure a 20% foothold in Thailand’s cryptocurrency market by 2024.