K-Bank aims to capture 20% of the crypto market in Thailand through the acquisition of Satang Pro.
In a bold move signaling growing integration between traditional finance and the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry, Kasikornbank, one of the largest banks in Thailand, has purchased a majority stake in a local digital assets trading platform called Satang Pro.
According to a recent filing, the bank, popularly known as K-Bank in the country, acquired 97% of Satang’s parent company shares, amounting to 3.705 billion Thai baht worth around $102.8 million.
Satang Pro to Be Rebranded after Acquisition
The strategic takeover was facilitated through K-Bank’s newly established subsidiary, Unita Capital, primarily tasked with investing in digital asset companies.
After five years of service in Thailand as a registered exchange in the region, Satang Pro will be rebranded as Orbix after the successful completion of the acquisition.
Once rebranded, the company will further be divided into three units: Orbix Custodian, Orbix Invest, and Orbix Technology.
According to the filing, the newly formed companies will focus on different areas in the crypto space, including digital asset trading services, investment management, and blockchain infrastructure development.
The acquisition of Satang comes in the wake of Kasikornbank’s recent announcement of the launch of a $100 million fund last month targeting investments in Web3, artificial intelligence (AI), and fintech startups.
K-Bank aims to capture 20% of the crypto market in Thailand through the acquisition of Satang Pro, which boasts over one million user base and around 45 cryptocurrencies listed on the platform for trading.
K-Bank Secures Crypto Exchange Licence in Thailand
According to a CoinDesk report, citing Udomsak Rakwongwan, a professor at Kasetsart University and the co-founder of FWX.finance, the company has received a regulatory license in Thailand to offer crypto trading services in the country legally.
The professor also disclosed that K-Bank is seeking to obtain other necessary licenses to enable it to provide more crypto-related services in compliance with the country’s local laws.
Meanwhile, the company is not the only financial institution in the country to enter the crypto bandwagon.
Last month, K-Bank’s rival Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) secured a partnership with Hashed to advance Web 3 adoption. The two companies have agreed to work on joint R&D initiatives and events to promote the adoption of decentralized technology around the world.
Another company, Thailand’s energy behemoth, Gulf, has joined forces with Binance through its Gulf Innova fund. The partnership aims to introduce a regulated, localized iteration of the exchange, paving the way for a new era of digital asset trading in the region.
While speaking on the growing competition in the Thai crypto sector, Rakwongwan said the country’s evolving digital assets market is expected to undergo significant changes due to the presence of the big players in the financial market.
“The cryptocurrency business in Thailand is set to become more competitive as major players stake their claim. With the owner of the Gulf being one of Thailand’s richest individuals, the dynamics are bound to shift. The vast capital and influence of these giants might pose survival challenges for smaller players on the field,” he said.
On the other hand, he also anticipates potential challenges for smaller players as major financial institutions wield substantial capital and influence.