SCBX, Thailand's fourth-largest lender by assets, has acquired 51% stake in the Bitkub cryptocurrency exchange for ~$538 million. The platform said in an announcement that the financial giant will work with it as a business partner to build a business together.
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However, the deal is yet subject to compliance with the regulations of relevant regulatory agencies such as the Bank of Thailand. The purchase is expected to be completed during Q1, 2022. SCB CEO, Arthit Nanthawittaya, says the acquisition is part of SCBX's new strategy to enter a new field of financial competition "in the next 3-5 years."
In April last year, SCB started using Ripple's payment network called RippleNet to send cross-border payments with digital money transfer service Azimo. However, Thailand is not fully open to the cryptocurrency space.
Thailand's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) earlier banned local crypto exchanges from trading meme cryptos such as dogecoin (DOGE), fan tokens and collectibles based on non-fungible tokens (NFTs). The country's SEC secretary general, Ruenvadee Suwanmongkol, said the regulator prepared a guide for crypto exchanges outlining the types of digital assets whose trading is prohibited.
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