A woman is holding a smartphone with the Binance (BNB), logo on it.
Binance is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency exchange. It has formed a joint venture in Thailand with billionaire Sarath Ratanavadi’s Gulf Energy Development. They will apply for a license that allows them to operate a digital asset trading platform in Thailand.
This partnership was declared for the first time in January amid rising demand for digital assets and cryptocurrencies in Southeast Asia. Gulf Energy also announced that it would invest in BNB, often called Binance Coin, a cryptocurrency the exchange uses to provide users with access to utilities on its blockchain. It will also invest in Binance.US, the preferred stock of Binance.US.
“The company believes that the multi-level cooperation between Binance, the global leader of blockchain infrastructure technology, aligns with the company’s target to become the leader in digital infrastructure while also providing additional opportunities for the company’s expansion into other digital asset-related endeavors in the future,” Gulf Energy stated Monday in a regulatory file to Thailand’s Stock Exchange.
One of Thailand’s largest power producers, Gulf Energy has diversified its portfolio by investing in renewable energy, toll roads projects, and telecommunications. In October, the company reached an agreement to establish a Thailand data center business with Singtel, Singapore’s largest telecom company. This agreement was reached months after Gulf Energy bought more shares in Intouch Holdings, Thailand’s largest mobile operator.
Binance was founded in 2017 by billionaire Changpeng Zhao. He is also known as CZ. The company’s expansion in Thailand has been driven by regulators increasing their scrutiny of the emerging industry. In December, the nation’s central banking said it was looking at rules to regulate cryptocurrency use as a means of payment. This move will likely control the financial stability risks that digital assets may pose and provide some protections for investors.
Thailand’s Securities & Exchange Commission has filed a criminal complaint against the crypto-giant for operating without a license. This offense carries a two-year sentence and a maximum fine of 500,000 baht ($14854). Binance stated earlier that the platform was not actively soliciting users from Thailand.
Binance is stretching its presence in the Middle East, having recently secured separate licenses across Abu Dhani and Bahrain.