Kasikornbank (Kbank) in Thailand said today that it is acquiring 97% of the shares in a local cryptocurrency exchange Satang through a subsidiary. KBank has taken an important step to bolster its position in the digital asset industry.
According to recent allegations, Kbank now owns 97 percent of Satang, a local bitcoin exchange. The transaction, worth 3.705 billion Thai baht ($102.8 million), represents K-Bank’s strategic entry into Thailand’s fast expanding digital asset sector.
Satang, founded in 2017, has been operating as an exchange in Thailand, providing services such as custody, staking, and crypto payments. Despite the exchange’s relatively low spot trading activity (about $430,000 in the last 24 hours), the acquisition offers K-Bank with a solid basis to extend its digital asset services.
Unita Capital, a KBank subsidiary founded particularly to engage in digital asset companies, was in charge of carrying out the transaction. This move is consistent with KBank’s overall strategy, which includes the establishment of a $100 million investment fund focusing on web3, fintech, and artificial intelligence (AI).
Satang to be renamed
Kbank intends to capitalise on the expanding potential in these areas while also acquiring a major chunk of the Thai crypto market share, with a target of 20% by 2024.
Following the completion of the acquisition, Satang will be renamed Orbix and begin a rebranding campaign. Orbix will launch three new subsidiaries in addition to the rebranding.
Orbix Custodian, Orbix Invest (a digital asset fund manager), and Orbix Technology (a blockchain technology developer) are all part of the Orbix Group. This development will allow KBank to provide its customers with a comprehensive portfolio of digital asset services.
Traditional financial institutions are increasingly supporting Thailand’s cryptocurrency business. Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Kasikorn Bank’s competitor, has also made stakes in the cryptocurrency market.
SCB Bitkub takeover
SCB earlier declared its plan to buy Bitkub, Thailand’s largest cryptocurrency exchange with a daily trading volume of $22.3 million. The agreement was eventually cancelled due to regulatory issues and fines imposed by Thai authorities.
While Thai financial institutions are rapidly embracing the crypto sector, the country’s regulators have tightened restrictions governing the functioning of crypto exchanges.
Thailand prohibited digital asset loan services earlier this year and mandated risk disclosures in crypto trading and promotions. These regulatory measures attempt to protect investors while also ensuring the market’s stability and integrity in Thailand.
Overall, Kasikorn Bank’s acquisition of Satang reflects the bank’s commitment to growing its position in Thailand. K-Bank intends to offer a wide range of digital asset services through the rebranded business Orbix and its subsidiaries in order to fulfil the increasing needs of its clients.