In a significant leap forward for Southeast Asia’s cryptocurrency ecosystem, Gulf Binance obtained a digital asset operator license from Thailand’s Ministry of Finance. Gulf Binance is a collaboration between the global crypto exchange Binance and Gulf Energy’s innovation arm, Gulf Innova. However, the move paves the way for the company to open a regulated crypto exchange and broker in Thailand, adding to Binance’s growing global footprint. With plans to launch by the end of this year, the platform will bring together Binance’s prowess in digital assets and the Gulf’s extensive local knowledge of the Thai market.
“By harnessing Binance’s expertise with Gulf’s established local presence and network, Gulf Binance aims to showcase the full potential of blockchain technology to meet the needs of Thai users,” stated Richard Teng, Binance’s Head of Asia, Europe, and MENA regions. The collaboration with Gulf Energy, one of Thailand’s largest private power producers, showcases Binance’s commitment to establishing partnerships beyond typical financial entities.
A step towards crypto regulation in Thailand
Thailand’s decision to grant this license to Gulf Binance indicates the country’s strategic approach to becoming an emerging Asian crypto hub. Earlier this year, Thailand introduced a set of regulations for crypto custody services and announced a substantial $1 billion tax break for firms issuing digital tokens. These developments suggest a shift towards a regulatory environment that, while cautious, is increasingly embracing cryptocurrency and blockchain technology.
Binance’s partnership with Thai billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy signifies a significant endorsement of the Thai crypto space. The relationship between the two organizations dates back to early 2023 when they initially agreed to explore the potential for a local digital asset exchange. Gulf Energy has also made strategic investments in Binance’s United States-based arm, Binance.US, adding to the depth and breadth of the partnership.
The Gulf Binance’s licensing comes amidst Thai regulators’ continued efforts to implement protective measures for cryptocurrency investors. As part of this initiative, new rules for crypto custody services were introduced in January 2023, requiring all crypto custodians to have a contingency plan for unforeseen circumstances. Such a balanced approach, welcoming innovation while maintaining protective measures, is expected to strengthen Thailand’s positioning as a secure and reliable crypto investment destination.