Binance today announced its joint venture with Gulf Innova Co., Ltd. has received digital asset operator licenses from the Ministry of Finance of Thailand, opening the way for the launch of a crypto exchange and broker.
Crypto operators are overseen by Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), meaning the new platform will be regulatory compliant, said Binance.
The new platform is expected to open in Q4 2023, with more details to be revealed closer to the launch, Binance said.
“We are grateful and honored to be granted digital asset operator licenses for Gulf Binance in Thailand—a country with a thriving crypto space that has demonstrated strong commitment in embracing blockchain technology,” said Binance's head of Asia, Europe, and MENA Richard Teng in a statement.
Sawasdee Thailand! 🇹🇭
Our joint venture, Gulf Binance, has now been granted digital asset operator licenses by Thailand's Ministry of Finance.
This opens up access to digital assets for even more people, building on our dedication to bring crypto and Web3 to the world.
— Binance (@binance) May 26, 2023
Gulf Innova is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gulf Energy Development PCL, a Thai conglomerate helmed by billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi. The Bangkok-based firm and Binance signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the possibility of opening a digital asset exchange in Thailand in January 2022.
"Binance's decision to partner with Gulf for this joint venture stems from the company's extensive experience and expertise in the digital asset trading business,” a Binance spokesperson told Decrypt.
The crypto firm also stressed that Gulf is one of the biggest and fastest-growing conglomerates in Thailand, with a large ecosystem covering energy production, telecommunications, and digital businesses.
In terms of the partnership agreement, Gulf Innova will be providing governance and oversight of the joint venture to ensure that it operates in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations.
“This partnership brings together Binance's unparalleled growth and expertise in the digital asset space with Gulf's established presence and knowledge in Thailand,” added the spokesperson. “By joining forces, Binance and Gulf aim to create a powerful synergy that will drive innovation, foster growth, and deliver exceptional value to users in the digital asset ecosystem.”
With a population of almost 72 million, Thailand has emerged as a major crypto hub in Southeast Asia, with the country’s capital Bangkok ranked 10th globally in The Crypto Readiness Index, published by cryptocurrency tax software company Recap in January this year.
This is despite the government banning cryptocurrencies as a payment method last year.
"While Thailand banned the use of cryptocurrencies as a method of payment last March, the regulation doesn't affect trading or investment activity," Recap CEO Daniel Howitt told the Bangkok Post in February.
Thailand was also ranked 8th in Chainalysis’ Global Crypto Adoption Index for 2022, ahead of the likes of Russia, China, Nigeria, Turkey, Argentina, and the UK.